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Geiger #1
Image Comics

Comic Books

‘Geiger’ #1 launches a new story for the nuclear nomad

The Ghost Machine line is off to a strong start.

Geiger #1 is many things. It’s at the front of the launch titles for the Ghost Machine imprint. It’s a strange hybrid of post-apocalyptic fiction and superhero origin. Most importantly, it continues Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s creative partnership. The duo have worked together on plenty of projects, including an underrated Avengers run at Marvel and multiple DC books including Shazam! (which served as the basis for both Shazam! movies), so part of the major draw of Geiger is to see them apply these skills to an entirely new universe.

The book doesn’t waste any time, immediately launching into a confrontation between Tariq Geiger – whose nuclear-fueled superpowers have earned him the sobriquet “The Glowing Man” – and a band of raiders who ambushed a small town. Soon after, Geiger encounters a man who tells him that there’s someone else out there with similar powers to his…but who’s managed to master these radioactive abilities. In a world where hope’s been ground to all but dust, can Geiger have a chance to regain his humanity?

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Johns’ script continues to peel back the layers that make up Geiger. There’s the hardened survivor who’s learning to make peace with the nuclear fire burning within him, but there’s also the husband and father mourning the loss of his family. This character work is what keeps Geiger from merely being a set of cool-looking visuals, and keeps the reader hooked for more. It does come at a cost though: most of Geiger’s story was set up in the 2021 miniseries and the Ghost Machine one-shot, meaning that this isn’t a totally clean jumping-on point.

That being said, Geiger #1 remains a visual treat thanks to the work of Frank and colorist Brad Anderson. The sky is choked with dust, lending a golden haze over most of the daylight scenes and an ominous foreboding to the nighttime scenes. As for Geiger himself, he stands out immediately thanks to the sickly green glow he emits in his nuclear form – as well as the horrific burns he leaves on his victims’ faces. That same green glow permeates Rob Leigh’s letters, from the sound Geiger’s batons/fuel rods make when he withdraws him to the growls of his two-headed wolf Barney.

Geiger #1 offers a new path for the nuclear nomad, both in terms of a new story and a new venture for its creative team. The Ghost Machine line is off to a strong start, and hopefully it’s one that can be sustained given the lineup of creators involved.

Geiger #1
‘Geiger’ #1 launches a new story for the nuclear nomad
Geiger #1
Geiger #1 offers a new path for the nuclear nomad, both in terms of a new story and a new venture for its creative team. The Ghost Machine line is off to a strong start, and hopefully it's one that can be sustained given the lineup of creators involved.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.4
Strong character work throughout, looking at the man Geiger's become.
Artwork, coloring and lettering that really sells the idea of a nuclear wasteland.
Johns and Frank remain a strong creative team.
Background from previous comics prevents this from being a clean jumping on point.
8.5
Great
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