RAD (aka the Recon Attack Dolphin), is the latest character to be released into the Madefire universe. This über intelligent albino dolphin is the perfect undersea weapon with bionic fins, stealth propulsion, visual sonar and a tragic backstory! But will RAD #1 make a splash or will it sink without a trace?
Josh and Jim Wilkie don’t have much time to flesh out the characters in this opening salvo of RAD #1. The story starts in the present day and when we meet RAD he is on the operating table and we learn that he won’t be operational for at least three months. There follows a brief explanation as to what Rad is and then His father turns up to rescue him. We learn that it is a suicide mission and that RAD must run away to find his mother who is hiding at ‘The Cove’. Following a huge explosion, RAD falls into the ocean and makes good his escape.
The action then jumps back five years to much happier times. RAD’s father is a senior soldier heading up a group of trained military Dolphins. Revered by his peers he returns to an undersea base just in time to see his wife give birth to the baby RAD…
What they have done successfully is to leave you wanting more. There are many unanswered questions and as readers we haven’t scratched the surface of RAD’s abilities. What do his funky glasses do? What exactly are bionic fins? How exactly does that Inspector Gadget like mechanical arm work? Does RAD know how to use any of them? Well, we’ll just have to wait in order to find out.
Evan Limberger has given this motionbook an anime look. The doctor appears properly evil – with big grin and even bigger teeth. The rest of the humans are given western looks and features and are drawn in a realistic way. The heroic Dolphins are beautifully realised and wouldn’t look out of place in a Ghibli movie like Ponyo. There is a rough and ready approach to the colouring but when viewed within animated panels it doesn’t look half bad!
Wendell Yuponce has once again pulled out all the stops with his music and sound. He brings his trademark synths and strings and adds in an astonishing array of dolphin noises and peripheral trickery. The synths in particular are reminiscent of dripping water and fit in perfectly with RAD’s aquatic setting.