The Ray: In a Blaze of Power

ray in a blaze of power cover tpb trade paperback
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Art: 6/10

Different style from the time it was written

Dated, story doesn't flow

Comic Info

Comic Name:  The Ray (Limited Series)

Publisher:  DC Comics

Writer:  Jack C. Harris

Artist:  Joe Quesada/Art Nichols

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  1994


The Ray #1 (Limited Series)

Reprints The Ray (Limited Series) #1-6 (February 1992-July 1992).  Ray Terrill has just lost his father but discovers a secret.  Ray was raised to believe he had a light allergy but his body actually acts as a giant battery for energy.  Ray learns that his father was the Ray, but a man also calling himself the Ray has appeared to claim the title of Ray’s father.  In addition to the return of the girl he loved, Ray learns that there is a threat to the world…and only he can stop it with the powers he still doesn’t understand.

Written by Jack C. Harris and illustrated by Joe Quesada and Art Nichols, The Ray:  In A Blaze of Power reintroduces the Quality Comics character who was first introduced in Smash Comics #14 (September 1940).  The limited series was received rather positively and ended up launching a continuing series which ran for twenty-nine issues from May 1994 to October 1996 plus an annual.

The Ray was one of those ’90s comics that took off when it was released.  There was a lot of buzz around comics in 1992 when the comic premiered and with the Image wave coming, and DC and Marvel were out to create edgier Image-esque characters.  I always felt the Ray was one of those characters that felt more “Image” than “DC” despite have a long history.


The Ray #5 (Limited Series)

The story for the comic causes some problems.  It is often hard to follow and incoherent.  The basic story seems to follow a logical path but sequences with Dr. Polaris and the other supporting characters don’t read as very fleshed out or logical.  It reads a lot like a Peter Milligan story but not as developed.  The end of the miniseries seems to devolve into a mush that really doesn’t play out as I hoped.

The art for The Ray is also very much a product of the ’90s.  The looks and style of the comic aren’t stylized enough to kitschy, but they are stylized enough to not be attempting realism.  This is more of a reason that it does resemble Image instead of DC and I feel it was going for the “young hip crowd”…now it doesn’t really hold up.

When I initially read The Ray, it was a lot different than comics being written at the time.  There was a sense of history to the comics and the story had layers.  Rereading The Ray however, I see a lot of what kind of destroyed comics in the ’90s and substance was sometimes trumped by art.  The Ray:  In a Blaze of Power walks a fine line between this dangerous idea by having a story that is quite all over the place and hard to follow at points.  It feels like what James Robinson’s Starman evolved into…just not fully cooked.

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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