Writer: Hannibal Tabu
Art: Giancarlo Caracuzzo
Colors: Flavio Caracuzzo
Letters and Digital Pre-press: Josephine Roberts
Editor and Creator: Nate Wunderman
Publisher: Wunderman Comics, Inc
Take a bit of well researched and well-founded historical background, add in a bit of good old fashioned buddy adventure with swashbuckling action, and top it off with a touch of horror and you have Irrational Numbers #0: Addition. The comic is the opening chapter of a supernatural alternative history thriller featuring everything from vampires to the foundations of modern geometry.
Yes, you heard that right.
From the very first page the alternative historical setting is made clear as we are introduced to the famous mathematician Pythagoras- yes, the guy behind the Theorem- as he purchases a rebellious slave, Zalmoxis, being auctioned off in Ancient Greece. Zalmoxis’ initial unruliness should be taken as a sign of things to come but writer Tabu (2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt winner) does a masterful job of using dialogue and narration to move the story along at a brisk pace and show how Pythagoras and Zalmoxis quickly bond with the latter becoming an adept student/apprentice under the master mathematician. A whirlwind of adventure soon follows as the death of his father sends Pythagoras and Zalmoxis off on a journey around the Eurasian ancient world in search of enlightenment to prove the Theorem referenced above with a stop in Egypt proving to be especially key to story to come. The main cast of characters is eventually rounded out as the two make their way back from India with the Dacian slave girl Sofia and priestess Medea completing the circle. When Pythagoras departs for a spell to seek out answers to new questions, Zalmoxis entices the women to engage in a secret ritual that ends up changing everything forever more!
Tabu’s story is lush with historical detail that shows a keen interest in the main subject of the story as well as some of the sidebar elements. The sequences in Egypt in particular display a keen knowledge of how such scenes should really play out that stand in contrast to most “typical” mainstream depictions. Another item of note is the way Tabu drops little tidbits here or there that may go unnoticed at first but end up becoming major points down the line. The artwork serves this story well with a nice clean style that meshes well with the rich and vibrant colors. The lettering is competent enough, while at first blush I found it a bit rough. Upon further reflection I have to say it is not that bad at all, and the scroll look used for the captions is a particularly nice touch. All in all this is an excellent read that serves as an solid lead to the full series to come.
William Satterwhite is the creator of the superhero webcomic Stealth and a freelance designer, internet consultant and illustrator living in Douglasville, Ga. His professional website can be found at www.williamsatterwhite.info.