String Divers #1 (IDW)


Rating: 4/5 – Action Scientists Explore the Sub-Atomic Frontier!
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

String Divers mixes science, action and intrigue with a video-game feel in the sub-atomic world of string theory.  But let’s take a step back.  The String Divers the series is named for are a team of color-coded androids tasked to explore the sub-atomic realms of the strings by a team of scientists located under CERN (The European Center for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, Switzerland.  Following up on some of the ideas presented by creators Chris Ryall & Ashley Wood (check out the links in this paragraph) was fascinating in and of itself:

In physics, string theory is a theoretical framework in which the point-like particles of particle physics are replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings. String theory describes how these strings propagate through space and interact with each other. On distance scales larger than the string scale, a string looks just like an ordinary particle, with its mass, charge, and other properties determined by the vibrational state of the string.

So, in the sub-atomic world we follow the team of androids: Grey (Tactician-class), Red (Stealth-class), Orange (Science-class), Black (Assassin-class), and Blue (Fighter-class).  Ryall does a good job in matching up the personalities, dialogue, and actions of the androids with their assigned classes.  A nice touch that kept me a bit clearer on who was doing what as I got familiar with the characters as the story went along.  Of course, the science team is “pulling the strings” of the androids (sorry, could not resist the pun) and using them as sub-atomic explorers to help them better understand string theory, although they do seem to also have a fairly sophisticated AI and autonomy to carry out their core mission.  As an aside, I’m always fascinated in sci-fi stories when a really sophisticated self-aware AI being is used as a means to some other end by scientists who are not just sitting back and basking in the wealth that could be generated merely by commercializing the androids themselves.  But we don’t see a lot of the world outside of CERN, so perhaps it’s a society rife with AI as a commonplace thing.

As in any good story setup, we get a point of mystery that it would seem must be solved before things get really BAD.   How to solve it?  Of course it is tied to things the String Divers observed on their sub-atomic mission.  Resolving this will drive the story and no doubt save the world as a result.  I’m hooked, mostly because I’m a sucker for “different” and this fills that bill quite nicely.  I can safely say I’m not reading any other comic like String Divers and I really enjoyed the science angle, though as a lay-person, I’m sure that all kinds of scientific inaccuracies can be put over on me that might be called out by an actual particle physicist.  I was entertained and that’s what is important.  I’ll also be back for issue #2, which is the real goal of a #1 issue, so it succeeded with me on that front.

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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