Hit by a Death Ray

Call me a sucker for glossy packaging, but I just got back from the book store where I spent over 2 hours pouring through the pages of the new Death Ray magazine. First of all, how could you not love a rag that got its name in part from a 1969 issue of The Avengers comic (#64 for those keeping score) where the villain, Egghead, threatens the world with the rhyme: “…up above the world so high, like a death ray in the sky…”?

I usually grab 4 or 5 magazines and maybe a book to browse through while I sip my vanilla latte, expecting to skim through the mags, reading 1 or 2 articles, then a chapter or two of the book. Instead, I spent my entire time at the “library” reading this one magazine almost cover-to-cover.

Like most magazines of their ilk (SciFi Now, SFX, etc.), it’s got a glitzy, “look at me put the articles sideways and in odd pieces” style that’s supposed to make it all fresh and happenin’ but which usually just gives me a headache. However, this is the first such magazine that made me put down the Excedrin and keep reading. They fill the articles with actual information! And they don’t assume that a non-scifi geek would bother picking up a magazine called “Death Ray,” so they don’t bother pretending it’s for the masses. Thus, instead of an article about the Silver Surfer that focuses on all the cool special effects for the upcoming Fantastic Four movie, we get a 2-page spread on the history of Stan Lee’s “Jesus crossed with Hamlet” and the nuances between Jack Kirby’s original and the Lee/Buscema makeover.

This is truly a magazine for geeks.

It’s a little off in timing, as it’s a British publication. So, we’re just getting Issue 1 a month later, but that doesn’t hurt it too badly (other than reviews for Heroes episodes that only go up through “Company Man” from February). Besides that, it’s chock full of scifi/fantasy goodness.

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