The (Extra) Daily Review - RASL #2


Another review this morning: Jeff Smith’s RASL #2

Jeff Smith is famous for his fabulous all-ages comic series Bone; however, Rasl is a completely different beast, and a massive change in both style and direction. This is very wise move on the behalf of Smith, as trying to produce something in a similar vein would obviously lead to comparison, and eventually criticism.

The series is about a man known as “RASL”, who uses an immersion suit that transports him into another dimension in order to steal rare art for clients. Jeff Smith revealed in a recent interview with ] that part of this transportation has to do with his mind-state. When transporting somewhere, he must be filled with base drives, such as drinking and gambling, and when he wants to return, he has to clean up his act and become almost zen-like in purity.

In the first issue RASL stole a painting and then used his suit to escape though “the Drift” to his own world, he quickly realized he was on the wrong world though, and encountered a weird reptilian looking man in a trench coat who tried to kill him. RASL dispensed with this man, then meditated to try to return home. In this second issue RASL returns home with his Van Gogh painting, but can’t collect his pay cheque because the painting has a bullet hole in it. Instead he pays a visit to a prostitute, who he seems to be a regular with and pays her for sex with the painting. There seems to be some form of emotional attachment between the two hinted at. They end up arguing and RASL goes off to a stip bar. Upon returning he find the prostitute dead, and her heart has been replaced with a piece of the painting, cut into a heart shape. RASL then heads off to get his revenge.

As you can tell, this is definitely not an all-ages read like Bone. RASL steals, drinks, and has sex with prostitutes. So, don’t go giving this to your kids The issue was really good though. The dialogue between RASL and the prostitute was very nicely done, and laced with hints of RASLs unknown past, especially when she seems sad after seeing the tattoo on his arm, which is of a girl’s name. This is still really set up for series, but it seems to be leading to something really cool, and I can’t wait to find out more about RASLs past and future. On the artwork front Jeff Smith is at his best here. His style is much grittier and rough than it was on Bone, and the “immersion suit” has a really cool Jack Kirby look to it. I would highly recommend this series. It is a shame it seems to be being published on a quarterly schedule, but great things are worth waiting for.

Grade: 10 out of 10 (I know, I must be in a generous mood)

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One Response to “The (Extra) Daily Review - RASL #2”
  1. atomicker says:

    I agree, this series was a complete — but very welcome — surprise from Smith. Hopefully the quality stays high!

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