First Law of Mad Science #1-4 Written by Mike Isenberg and Oliver Mertz
Illustrated by Daniel Lapham
Colored by Jeff McComsey and Oliver Mertz
Lettered by Mike Isenberg
Cover by Daniel Lapham Noreon Labs
Release Date: September 18, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99
“When we cross the line to the boundless and hideous unknown — the shadow-haunted Outside — we must remember to leave our humanity and terrestrialism at the threshold.” – H.P. Lovecraft
The above quote, used within the issues of First Law of Mad Science, describes this comic book series perfectly. A Kickstarter project come to fruition, First Law of Mad Science is written by Mike Isenberg and Oliver Mertz with illustrations from Daniel Lapham. What could be more maddening than the unknown?
George Baker, scientist extraordinaire for the Noreon Corporation, has helped the world advance technologically multiple times. His most recent development, Cyber-Eyes, are implants that allow the owner to view the world beyond the usual visual spectrum. Hank Baker, George’s son, is among the first batch of recipients to test out the Cyber-Eyes. Soon, George’s world begins to unravel. One of his employees falls through a window and unexpectedly dies; shortly thereafter, Hank begins to see small, green creatures wherever he looks. What does this all have to do with the Cyber-Eyes technology?
Meanwhile, Emma Baker, George’s wife, has been leading an archeological dig for the Noreon Corporation hundreds of feet below the surface of Antarctica. There, her team has discovered a vast, ancient city, lost to mankind; however, that is not all they’ve found. Something else is down there with them; something very dangerous.
It is clear that Isenberg and Mertz have a well thought-out, albeit, scary story with First Law of Mad Science. With each issue, new discoveries are made while more questions are asked. The plot threads from the very first issue through the fourth are really beginning to weave together nicely. They’ve included strong characterization and have constantly had me guessing what the heck is going on — in a very good way!
Lapham’s art is fantastic. While slightly cartoony in style, his images fit beautifully with the tone of the story. He does a great job with perspective and some very interesting, stylistic panel choices that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen used before. In particular, I love Lapham’s subtle yet life-like drawings of R.A.I.C.H.E.L., George’s robotic daughter.
While I can’t recommend First Law of Mad Science to younger readers due to frequent vulgarity, it is a really engrossing read. A truly fascinating and frightening look at technology and science.