‘Binary Gray #7:’ Comic Book Review

Issue seven of Binary Gray focuses on the aftermath and consequences of the attack on the superhero team The Virtue’s secret headquarters by the mysterious and nefarious Agency.  Average guy turned fledging superhero, or rather average guy who has acquired superpowers but has no idea how to use them yet, Alex Gray is rethinking his desire for adventure and excitement.  But, he is also realizing that he can never go back to the life he once knew.  He finds himself at a crossroads, abandoning the most solid support system he has had, The Virtue, since his father died while protecting him from a super-powered altercation when he was a boy.  Now, it looks like Alex may be haunted by yet another death that he blames himself for, and that’s not something he’s sure he can handle emotionally.  If you’re intrigued but don’t know the whole story, then head over to assailantcomics.com and pick up Binary Gray issues one through six, available digitally or in print.  If you’re already caught up, then you’re right on track.

Writer and creator Chris Charlton keeps the story moving forward as we witness the emotional fallout between The Virtue and Alex.  Charlton nicely evokes the sense that The Virtue hasn’t been hit this close to home and incurred such drastic casualties in some time, if ever.  It shakes the team, and the violation of their secret headquarters makes them feel vulnerable.  And, it all happened after they took Alex under their wing, something they are all aware of, but handle in very different ways.  It doesn’t much matter to Alex, he still feels entirely responsible.  The interactions between the members of The Virtue and Alex read as honest and sincere, and they respond out of character, revealing new levels of emotion.  Charlton also shows that their ideologies are not all the same, which is a strong quality to have in a book involving a superhero team.

Along with artist Rowel Roque and colorist Anthonie Wilson, Charlton introduces a new villain that The Virtue must contend with, even in their fractured state.  Here Charlton sets up a subplot that could develop in intriguing ways, especially if Alex gets tangled up in it.  Roque brings a sense of pathos to the characters and you feel as bad for Alex and he does about the way things have turned out.  Scenes of The Virtue and Alex crowding around the infirmary bed of one of their own never feel boring, because even when the characters aren’t moving, their faces are full of emotion and are active, as is their body language.  During a fight later in the issue, Roque’s compositions bring the action to life and Brant W. Fowler’s lettering enhances the intensity of the fight, making for a thrilling juxtaposition with the more emotionally charged scenes.  David Hollenbach again provides a cover that sparks a certain amount of mystery, enticing your imagination, which is one of the best things a cover can do.  Binary Gray continues to deliver complex stories and characters, embracing some superhero tropes while also inventing new ones, all to tell an original tale of a person trying to find himself, something many readers no doubt will relate to, even if they don’t have any superpowers.    

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