Review: Binary Gray #7

A quick recap of the last issue, we saw the Agency place a tracker on one of the team and it leads them right to their secret base. After an ambush everyone makes it out, but Chris is put into a coma and several members of the Agency are down and out as well. At one point I’ll go back and review the sixth issue of Binary Gray, but for now let’s discuss the newest issue of the series. In this issue we find Alex and the rest of his protectors in a backup base hiding from the Agency. Ken, the new Cross, goes full-blown dickhead and blames Alex for everything. Alex actually feels terrible because Chris, Ken’s dad and the original Cross, has now saved his life twice. Alex decides that he’s going to leave because he doesn’t want to be a burden and feels that everyone hates him. The Moth lets him leave while two members go out to fight another Agency goon.

Alex heads back home to discover his apartment is thrashed. He decides that since he can’t stay there he’ll head to his mom’s place, but even that proves to be difficult given his current state.

I don’t know if its writer Chris Charlton’s intention to make the heroes kind of idiots, but it’s interesting. The bad guys are smarter, but they’re not as powerful which means our heroes defeat them because of brute strength. The thing is, it could be commentary on the rest of the superhero genre which is fists first brains later. Again, I don’t know if it’s intentional, but it definitely comes across as being intentional and very clever commentary.

Binary Gray #7-1I actually forgot how much I liked this series. Charlton continues to make it very different than traditional superhero books because the characters aren’t all invincible. If they get knocked out during a fight the fight goes on without them and that’s the end of it. There are of course familiarities of the superhero genre, but Binary Gray avoids the pitfalls. Unlike most indie superhero stories this isn’t Charlton’s version of “Superman” or “The Avengers.” It really is its own thing.

The pencils have been strong on this series, but Rowel Roque continues to improve on this series. This is definitely one of the best looking issues in the series. There was only one thing that I had a problem with and it’s when Alex is crying. The stream down his cheeks is too thick and makes it look comical which is unfortunate because it’s otherwise a touching scene.

I’ve read some decent independent superhero comics this year, but Binary Gray still stands out for the same reasons it did in the beginning… it’s original. The superhero world isn’t a copy and the creative team doesn’t need to borrow characters or storylines because it’s honestly doing superheroes better than a lot of “big two” series are.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Chris Charlton Artist: Rowel Roque Publisher: Assailant Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/30/14 Format: Print/Digital