The Light #1


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The Light #1


  • Words: Nathan Edmondson
  • Art: Brett Weldele
  • Story Title: Outbreak
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Apr 14, 2010

The Light #1 has a great premise: anytime someone stares at the light, they burst into flames and explode.  It’s very similar to a zombie movie, in that the protagonists of the story are fleeing from a force that seems to be following them wherever they go, leaving death and destruction in its wake.  It certainly is thrilling to experience a story like this. 

Writer Nathan Edmondson accomplishes a lot in this first issue.  Within the first few pages, Edmondson tells us everything we need to know about the main character, Coyle, using dialogue that feels very natural.  And, even though Coyle, an unemployed and abusive alcoholic, is far from likable, we grow a bit attached to him, his mother, and his daughter, Avery, within the span of two pages. 

Immediately after the brief introduction, the action starts.  Coyle finds out about the threat of looking into the light when his neighbor gives him a frantic warning and bursts into flames.  Luckily, he still has the goggles from his welding job on and uses them to get home and tries to save his family.  This was surprising, as I had all but written him off as a selfish jerk.  Through a valiant effort, Coyle saves his daughter from his mother’s exploding corpse.  He blindfolds her before they flee through the death and destruction together. 

Weldele’s contribution to this book is tremendous.  The way he distinguishes the light from the dark was absolutely crucial in making this story a success.  He uses the contrast to create a somber but spooky mood, which helped set the atmosphere.  Also, without the subtle expressions he brings to the characters, this story would not have felt so real.  After all, it is the familiarity of these characters that make us invest so much in them. 

Edmondson did a great job developing the personalities of each of the characters, too.  I often found myself thinking “yes, that is what he/she would do.”  In fact, there were a few times when the characters were so real that it was frustrating.  I remember thinking, “Why doesn’t Coyle just stop running for a minute and explain what’s happening to his daughter?!”, but the answer is because he wouldn’t.

Without giving away too much, I’ll just say that the ending blew me away. It is, to say the least, atypical of the usual ending one would find at the end of a story like this.  At the same time, though, it made sense, given the characters’ personalities.  Edmondson doesn’t ever compromise by using the convenient choice over the real one, and the story is enhanced because of it.  Weldele’s use of pacing in the end also served to maximize the excitement. 

When you’ve read this book, there’s no way you won’t be curious about what happens next.  Edmondson and Weldele seemed headed towards a certain stereotypical set-up for future issues, but they  took it in a direction not to be anticipated.  Comics as surprising as The Light don’t come around too often!

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