Geiger – Book Four
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Gary Frank
Color Artist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Reviewed by Steve J. Ray
We’re back in the irradiated deserts of a not too distant, dark future in Geiger #4. Last month we learned what happened to our hero’s family, and the shocking loss that fuels his war with the King and his cronies. We also saw Geiger take on two orphans, something I’m sure will bring out the best in him, yet also make him vulnerable.
As always, we get a good dialogue and characterization from Geoff Johns, which is tempered and enhanced with some great action and dark surprises. Issue #4 gives us vehicular thrills and spills that wouldn’t be out of place in a Mad Max movie, but it’s polished with heart-warming, and realistic humor from children we immediately like, and care about.
Of course, our sympathies for these characters comes not just from how well they’re written, but how lovingly they’re brought to life by the stellar duo of Gary Frank and Brad Anderson. This team has been working magic on every title they’ve been paired on, and Geiger is no exception.
The desert feels arid and dangerous, and the organ hunters are scary, but Geiger and the kids are as real and believable as any characters from the most well acted, and directed Hollywood blockbusters, or the finest comics.
The King also grows in this issue, as his heritage is finally disclosed. We learn about his parents and realize that their influence during his upbringing have been instrumental on the way he’s turned out; a spoiled, entitled, and ultimately selfish individual, drunk on his own power and hungry for more.
On the other side of the coin are Geiger and his new charges. Pages two and three of Geiger #4 – reproduced below – are two character pages that rank some of my favorites of 2021 so far. I already mentioned that I loved Barney last month, and now that I know his name, I just love him all he more. Cute puppy (wolfies?)
The one minor flaw about this series is that it all feels a little familiar. Yes, Geiger is an original character, but he still reminds me of Doctor Phosphorous, and this kind of post apocalyptic scenario has been done to death. The saving grace is Geoff Johns’ spot on dialogue and the addition of the King, and the children. Of course, Gary and Brad’s art is second to none and well worth the price of admission, but I’m yet to be drawn into this world the way I have been by the other nightmare future Image Comics title of today, Nocterra.
The new group of villains in this issue is intriguing, as is the King’s family. Last month’s shocking revelation about Geiger’s family really hit a note too, but four issues in and my attention’s starting to wane. I’ve always said that the best comics balance writing and art, but so far Gary and Brad are doing all the heavy lifting… in fact I feel that the entire book’s more or less on their shoulders right now.
Geoff Johns’ work has almost all been stellar in the past , so I’m hoping the story picks up. Maybe I shouldn’t expect all his efforts to be Earth One, Doomsday Clock or Three Jokers level… but, dammit the art in this series is every bit as awesome as anything by Gary Frank and Brad Anderson has always been, and I would expect it to be.
Geiger #4 is a good comic with fantastic art. Maybe I’m just picky, or spoiled, but I’m finding myself wanting more. The book’s still on my pull list, but so far this isn’t a series that I think will also warrant me picking up the collected edition of.
Here’s hoping that issues #5 onwards prove me wrong, and blow my mind.
Artwork Courtesy of Image Comics