RASL 2: Romance at the Speed of Light

rasl volume 2 romance at the speed of light cover trade paperback jeff smith
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10

Interesting story, Tesla

A reminder that it isn't for children

Comic Info

Comic Name: RASL

Publisher: Cartoon Books

Writer: Jeff Smith

Artist: Jeff Smith

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2018

rasl #5 cover rob maya jeff smith


Reprints RASL #5-10 (July 2009-April 2011).  RASL is the on the lam.  With an assassin after him, Rob recalls his involvement in the St. George Project and how an affair led to disaster.  Now, the St. George Project is threatened to be revived and the experiments of Nikola Tesla could be the key to doing it.  With Rob holding the evidence, he must decide if he’s going to run or fight to protect those he loves and the world.

Written and illustrated by Jeff Smith, RASL Volume 2:  Romance at the Speed of Light is an adult science-fiction comic book series published by Cartoon Books.  Following RASL Volume 1:  The Drift, the series was critically acclaimed and has been reprinted multiple times including in Omnibus collections and color editions.

A quick reminder, RASL is not Bone.  With RASL, Jeff Smith is telling an adult story…with the same style of art he used in Bone.  The format of the collection resembles the Scholastic Bone collections, and I could see a parent buying it for a kid…and grimacing later.  RASL in this sense alone is interesting because it is interesting to see how Smith approaches a more adult subject.

rasl #8 cover jeff smith art


This entry in the series provides more backstory than the previous volume.  You learn about the discovery of the secret Telsa diaries and the growing rift between Rob and Miles over Maya and more and more mystery builds (plus, the origin of “RASL”).  When you finish this collection, you question how Rob can continue a whole third collection since it seems like he’s physically and mentally falling apart (which is a good reason to spur you to read on).

What I always find interesting about this series is Nikola Telsa.  I’ve heard lots of stories of Tesla.  He’s been a character in movies like The Prestige, and he almost seems like a supernatural, unreal scientist…but much of what is told of Tesla’s life and experiments is true.  Granted, Smith takes liberties for the purpose of the story, but much of the core story is right.

RASL is a fun ride.  It is one of those comics that I really don’t know where it is going or how it is going to end which in today’s day and age is impressive.  I like that it is completely different than Bone and that if it didn’t have Smith’s art, you’d never know it was Smith’s work…which shows a lot of versatility.  RASL 2:  Romance at the Speed of Light is followed by RASL 3:  The Fire of St. George.

Related Links:

RASL 1:  The Drift

RASL 3:  The Fire of St. George

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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