Warning: Some spoilers for Red Lightning!
“Red Lightning” by ABLAZE Publishing is a sci—fi journey in search of self, in which the death and legacy of David Bowie are used to tell a powerful story about love, connection and personality.
Written by Marco B. Bucci of Nomen Omen and drawn by Riccardo Atzeni, readers are transported to the moment that broke the hearts of an entire generation — January 10, 2016, when it became known about the death of David Bowie. But the main character of “Red Lightning” Samuel is literally frozen in place by shock. The world goes on, and centuries pass, and by the time Samuel comes to, it’s a distant future in 200016. He has nowhere to go, and the world he knew is long gone, Samuel has to rely on the kindness of his new friend Edo. , a man dressed in a high-tech dinosaur costume.
“Red Lightning” is in many ways a classic story about a “fish in the water”. In the year 200016, advances in technology made society extremely free in terms of self-expression. People can wear as much as they want, use the built-in Intotech to see the world the way they want, and even imagine themselves as a different kind if they want. Edo helps Samuel adjust to the world of the future together with his friend Iko, who works as an Intotech customer support representative. Things aren’t so bad for Samuel, as the community he joined celebrates 2016 with its annual theme, helping him adjust to his new norms. But when a glitch allows Samuel to receive and send texts back to his native age, he begins to doubt the new world he finds himself in.
Red Lightning is an unconventional book, perfect for her idea of radical self—expression. The story of Bucci and Atzeni encourages comic book readers to embrace their most unique personalities and be who they really are, in true Bowie style. Atzeni’s art showcases an incredibly diverse community of characters doing exactly what makes them happy. Despite the farcical concept, Bucci’s characters seem so real because readers can easily empathize with their struggles, even if the characters are removed for several millennia. Meanwhile, Atzeni’s art helps to ground a heady concept in a related, vibrant world.
Letting go of the past is difficult, whether it’s saying goodbye to a beloved icon or a place that was once considered home. “Red Lightning” explores the difficulties associated with the need to move on, but never in a cynical or melodramatic manner. “Red Lightning” is a story about what is happening here and now, about how to look around and understand what is possible at the moment. The ability to connect with others, reinvent yourself and fall in love are some of the things Bucci and Atzeni want their readers to remember, no matter what world they find themselves in. Red Lightning wants its readers to follow Bowie’s lead. and be yourself at every moment.