Lucid #1


Share this review

  • Button Delicious
  • Bttn Digg
  • Bttn Facebook
  • Bttn Ff
  • Bttn Myspace
  • Bttn Stumble
  • Bttn Twitter
  • Bttn Reddit

Lucid #1


  • Words: Michael McMillian
  • Art: Anna Wiezczyck
  • Story Title: Magical History Tour Part 1: "Subterranean Homesick Aliens"
  • Publisher: Archaia Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Aug 11, 2010

As best as I can tell, it all started with Tim Burton’s Batman. Never before had comic books enjoyed such a brilliant spotlight, as movie-goers from all over the world flocked to theaters, spurred by a massive, unprecedented marketing campaign, that plastered the Bat-logo on everything from t-shirts to Slurpee cups.

Burton’s Batman spawned a number of lackluster sequels and a variety of comic-inspired flicks such as The Crow, The Shadow, and The Phantom. Hollywood is a fickle place, though. When most of these adaptations, with the exception of The Crow, failed to live up to expectations, film producers and studio execs went looking elsewhere for the next big thing.

Years later, enticed by Christopher Nolan’s rejuvenation of the Bat-franchise and the unexpected success of Jon Favreau’s Iron Man movies, Hollywood set its sights back on comic books. What’s different this time around – aside from an obvious evolution in technological capabilities – is that the interest isn’t limited to anonymous producers and executives.

LUCID represents the latest offering in a recent trend that’s seen a number of high profile actors, screenwriters, and directors throw their hats into the ring as producers of comic book projects. Presumably, the premise here is to use the comics medium and its zealous, fiercely loyal readership to develop creative properties for distribution in a variety of media.

It’s a smart strategy, one that may help expedite the long, arduous process of producing movies, as creators can approach studio execs with properties that have already succeeded in building a solid fan base amongst consumers who traditionally latch onto virtually any comic-inspired film. The danger, of course, is that the shelves of our local comic shops will be inundated with a deluge of half-assed, rushed-to-print titles, which will likely make their next appearances in quarter bins across the continent.

Fortunately, such is not the case with LUCID. Jointly published by Archaia Comics and Heroes star Zachary Quinto’s Before the Door Pictures, LUCID springs from the imagination of True Blood actor Michael McMillian. The plot chronicles the adventures of combat mage Matthew Dee, as he battles sorcery and demonic invasions for the U.S. government as its specially appointed “Protector of the Realm.”

A self-proclaimed comics buff with a healthy curiosity about magic and the occult, McMillian turns in a surprisingly tight script. His plot enjoys a swift pace, driven by the frenetic Matthew Dee, whose cynical personality and quick wit embodies the book’s thematic conflict between magic and science. As Dee struggles to reconcile the twin pulls of reason and imagination and the supremely unexpected turn his life has taken, he draws the reader into the world of LUCID, providing a familiar vessel with which to navigate its esoteric waters.

Young rising star artist Anna Wieszczyk provides a distinctive visual look to LUCID that evokes the kinetic movement of Manga fused with the refined sensibilities of European design. The result is a unique artistic style which appears a little rough around the edges but which also contains hidden subtleties embedded in jarring camera angles, the excellent use of speed lines, and beautifully suggested backgrounds.

McMillian and Wieszczyk work exceptionally well together, despite their relative inexperience. They have an obvious passion for their creation that lends LUCID the heart it needs to distinguish itself from other similarly-produced titles that come across as little more than off-putting PR exercises.

Buoyed by intriguing characters, a fast-paced plot, and exuberant visuals, LUCID is a surprisingly strong first offering from Archaia and Before the Door’s joint publishing venture. Kudos to Quinto and the folks at Archaia for taking the time to produce a title that reads like an actual comic book first and a potential movie pitch second.

Related content

Related Headlines

Related Lowdowns

Related Reviews

Related Columns


  • kannbrown

    kannbrown Jul 14, 2010 at 10:10pm

    I am looking forward to this comic, with the combination of esoteric magic, intrigue and even some history. But one thing I found fascinating about Before the Door and Zachary Quinto's interviews regarding this project that this review seems to bear out. They said that it seemed many comics lately are being made to be 'movie ready', made with the idea that, if lucky, they could be made into a film project.

    Despite being made by a production company headed by an actor, they specifically stated their purpose was to allow new voices, and artistic talent, in graphic novels exposure, and the comic, itself, is the goal. Which, I believe, will result in a good quality comic, as the reviewer seems to bear out.

  • Jason Wilkins

    Jason Wilkins Jul 17, 2010 at 11:44am

    Yes, it's nice to see this approach taken by Quinto, Archaia, et al. I understand the idea is for eventual cross pollination but I think these guys are doing it the right way by putting the comic out and letting it stand on its own too feet before rushing off to the studios with a pitch. They get a more honest book out of it which will likely make it easier for studios to accept the pitch eventually because the fan base has already hooked in to a property they TRULY care about.

In order to post a comment you have to be logged in. Don't have a profile yet? Register now!

Latest headlines


Latest comments
Comics Discussion
Broken Frontier on Facebook