Writer: Hannibal Tabu
Art: Giancarlo Caracuzzo
Colors: Flavia Caracuzzo
Letters: Josephine Roberts
Publisher: WUNDERMAN COMICS (Jul 2017)
Pythagoras buys the freedom of a young slave named Zalmoxis. The two journey to gain knowledge as Pythagoras is very driven. Pythagoras builds a school to help teach younger people in between continuing his quests for a particular formula. Pythagoras and Zalmoxis go to different kinds of wisemen in order to gain knowledge and talk to other deities … but Pythagoras doesn’t do well in respecting the customs of different people. Yet, as Pythagoras school grows, so does his inner circle as he as Sofia and Medea join him and Zalmoxis. As Pythagoras continues his trips for knowledge, Zalmoxis, Sofia and Medea decide to use the knowledge of the different cultures and magic to unleash their own idea and goal.
Irrational Numbers is a curious animal of innovation, character development and rising plot. The Caracuzzos have done a magnificent job bring to life the story of Pythagoras’, his theory being figured out and the mystical origin of … well … vampires from the looks of it. I would say that is a spoiler, but with a vampire clearly being seen on the cover … it is not exactly much of a spoiler. Giancarlo Caracuzzo’s style is similar to that of Mike Mignola, Yannick Paquette and Stuart Immonen, yet still being touched his own flare to make it his own. With all the different destinations and kinds of people and beings seen in this first issue is amazing and let’s Caracuzzo really shine. There are some wonderfully bright and light scenes and for some very dark and gritty scenes. Flavia’s colors are splendid as they bring out the line work well allowing to capture the flavor of the background and the tone of the scene. Even the more adult moments are given the right touch of class and feel different visually. The art’s look does wonders to really engross readers into the time period the story takes place. The lettering by Roberts perfectly grabs readers with the old Greek style font for narration while the dialogue font was nice and easy to view to the eyes.
Hannibal Tabu has chronicled a lot. He’s an accomplished writer and reviewer. And he brings his A game here. For a 56 page first issue, it reads wonderful well. Tabu paces this first issue perfectly, blending the right amount of main plot and character development. Tabu takes the idea of building the Pythagorian Theorem and mix it with the mythology and creation of the vampire. And he does it so well. The drive for knowledge drives a lot of people, including Pythagoras and Tabu uses that to make our lead relatable. Tabu also does a wonderful job building up Zalmoxis as a fully rounded character, particular to how he grows into a character with his own ideas while still keeping Pythagoras in high regard. While Sophia and Medea are introduced later, Tabu makes them supporting cast with glimpse of their own personality. Yet, Pythagoras and Zalmoxis are the driving forces and Tabu does a good job of building these characters. Tabu also weaves mythology and customs of other cultures into the story and plot with ease. There are lessons here in respecting other cultures including not to assume that the customs of one culture will translate or be acceptable in another. Tabu makes the discovery of the Pythagorian Theorem so much more adventurous and mystical … as it leads to darker powers coming. Tabu wraps up the first issue with a heart pounding cliffhanger that will make readers want more.
Irrational Numbers #1 is a surprisingly intriguing, thought-provoking and gripping first issue that will seduce readers as they flip through the pages. The innovative and character driven story shows a great amount of development and intelligent writing as it mixes mythology, magic, mathematics theories and cultural diversity in ways I rarely see in comics. The art is superb, capturing the flavor of the period, the flavor of some of the cultures and the nuisance of each character. This combination creates one of the best first issues I have ever read. Really looking forward to more.