Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Greg Scott
Colorist: Art Lyon & Matthew Patz
Lettering: Thomas Mauer
On sale July 6th 2016
Scientists live by numbers. Math is the building block of life; it is what makes everything go. Researchers at CERN have been conducting experiments for years with particle accelerators to learn the secrets of anti-matter, advance physics, and the mystery of the creation of the universe itself. These are high level ideas that could unlock the greatest question of all: why are we here? While not on such a grand scale as understanding all of creation, Charles Soule (Daredevil, She-Hulk, Death of Wolverine) has created a book that goes deep into the theory that mathematics can steer the outcome of a number of catastrophic events that are yet to occur.
In the second issue of the 5 part mini-series, Soule tells the story of Heller Wilson, a promising mathematician who is researching with Dr. Spencer Brownfield for his thesis. Brownfield is a world-renowned math genius, but as he is getting up in years, Heller begins to question the validity of the Doctor’s experiments, such as dumping paint on a NYC street to divert traffic, or to buy a store’s supply of Diet Coke to alter the flow of trash pick-up. He laments to his lady, Grace, that if the reasons behind Dr. Brownfield’s experiments don’t become clear soon, he will lose out on the lucrative think tank position he has been eyeing. Finally, in Central Park, the good doctor reveals how he has the ability to use math to steer people into the direction he needs then to go, avoiding chaos, at least on a city scale.
Strange Attractors is certainly a title for those with an affinity for mathematics and disciples of Chaos Theory, or in layman’s terms, the “Butterfly Effect.” While I can see how Soule is building the foundation of a story that will finish strong, the build-up can be slow at times. It isn’t until the end of this issue that it is revealed that the very existence of the city that never sleeps is grave peril. “Superhero by math” is an interesting idea but the first two issues of this book are a bit dry, like math class can be. I do appreciate Greg Scott’s artistic depiction of NYC; from the realism of the characters to the grit of the buildings and landscapes, Scott is effectively conveying the plot-line that something is rotten in Gotham.
While this issue can drag a bit, I have full confidence in Charles Soule to deliver exciting and satisfying future issues in the Strange Attractors series.
3 street lights of 5