RASL 3: The Fire of St. George

rasl volume 3 the fire of st george cover trade paperback color edition
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Nice and different from Bone

Ending has some openness to it that feels could be locked up

Comic Info

Comic Name:  RASL

Publisher:  Cartoon Books

Writer:  Jeff Smith

Artist:  Jeff Smith

# of Issues:  5

Release Date:  2016

rasl #13 cover jeff smith

RASL #13

Reprints RASL #11-15 (July 2011-August 2012).  Time is running out for Dr. Robert “RASL” Johnson as the dangerous technology that he helped create is about to go live.  With his hold on the previously lost journals of Nikolas Tesla, he is the only one holding the key to Tesla’s experimental energy and understand of parallel worlds…and it is knowledge that people like Salvador Crow doesn’t intend to let him keep.  RASL must make a big move…before the danger is too great.

Written and illustrated by Jeff Smith, RASL Volume 3:  The Fire of St. George is a Cartoon Books science fiction comic book collection.  Following RASL Volume 2:  Romance at the Speed of Light, the issues were also collected as deluxe trades as RASL Volume 3:  Romance at the Speed of Light and RASL Volume 4:  Lost Journals of Nikolas Tesla along with RASL Complete.

Bone was a comic book favorite.  It started as I was entering college and ended a few years after graduating.  RASL was Smith’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed and widely distributed all-ages Bone and a completely different type of story.  RASL wasn’t short and sweet and it definitely wasn’t for kids.  RASL gets rough.

rasl #14 cover jeff smith

RASL #14

RASL is up against the wall in this collection.  He is in a put up or shut up situation with the tech he’s invented as it is starting to threaten the world.  It goes deeper into his exploration of Tesla and it also explores his relationship with Uma (which might not be as cut and dry as it seems).  The showdown is coming and with a finish line in sight, Jeff Smith is plotting the ending.

The art continues to be solid.  While RASL was published in black-and-white, I think it benefits more from the color editions that were released from Cartoon Books. Both Bone and RASL are great black-and-white books, but Bone’s scenery and characters are richer than RASL’s southwestern desert world.  I go back and forth on if RASL looks better in color, but even reading the color in comparison to the black-and-white is an interesting endeavor.

The story of RASL ends in this volume.  It isn’t the most satisfying ending and there is potentially more RASL that Smith could tell since technically it is left a little open ended (all of RASL’s problems are solved, but he still has the basic knowledge that he started with).  I do enjoy RASL even if it isn’t as endearing as Bone, but Bone was also a flash in the pan type of comic book that captured a lot of the explosion of independent comics along with the rise (or return of) story driven titles.  RASL is also story driven, and it shows Smith’s range…it makes me wish for more projects from Smith that don’t follow Bone’s format or style.  I hope we see more projects rise.

Related Links:

RASL 1:  The Drift

RASL 2:  Romance at the Speed of Light

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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