One Punch Reviews #36: Newton’s Law

We have this love/hate relationship with scientists an inventors. While we respect their contributions to society, we tend to find them kinda … nerdy. They lack a little something something that more straightforward action heroes possess. This, I think, is why we try to spice them up in media. Thomas Edison invents a lifelike android in Auguste Villiers de l’Isle-Adam’s L’Ève future while Nicola Tesla’s turn as mad scientist led to the creation of a teleportation device in The Prestige.

Which brings us to today’s review of Newton’s Law, by Garrett Anderson and Dan Dougherty. I’m pretty sure Sir Isaac Newton was a chill guy and all, what with his Law of Universal Gravitation and invention of infinitesimal calculus … but wouldn’t it be more interesting if he was some sort of crazy warlock?

Newton’s Law uses several artistic shifts. We start the webcomic with a cartoony intro, perhaps a reference to the modern day style of webcomics. When we arrive at the main bulk of the storyline, artist Dan Dougherty switches to a more traditional pen & ink style. There’s a very subtle change midway through the comic were we peer into a character’s imagination, which eliminates the ink washes and imparts the look of a traditional superhero comic.

Newton’s Law examines the great man during the later years of his life, after he had suffered a nervous breakdown and was, perhaps, slowly losing his mind to mercury poisoning which was possibly a result of his own alchemical pursuits. (This explains a lot, by the way, especially why his coat of arms consisted of two bones.) His half-niece, the ever patient Catherine Barton Conduitt, is taking care of him. While she loves her famous uncle, she’s starting to grow worried about his increasing eccentricity. Newton’s experiments, after all, are becoming more morbid, such as the one that opens the webcomic: things go spectacularly wrong, leading to the hanging death of an innocent man.

Newton then starts seeing a strange visitor named “Gravity.” He says he didn’t want to be discovered. Equations swirling about him that change the very laws of time and space. Maybe he’s a visitor from another time or another space. Or maybe Newton really has gone off the deep end, and everything he sees in now corrupted by madness.

It’s an intriguing mystery that’s heightened by the scientific and cultural significance of the real life counterpart of the main character. We root, deep down inside, for Sir Isaac Newton to be right despite evidence to the contrary. He was right, after all, about so many other important things. Who knows… this may indeed be where Newton’s Law is headed.

And yet … isn’t that the great tragedy about growing old? Even the greatest men and women, whose names and contributions will be remembered for all eternity, must be laid low by the sad and merciless march of time.

Final Grade: 5 Stars (out of 5).


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on November 8, 2010, in 5 Stars, dramatic webcomic, historical webcomic, mystery webcomic, One Punch Reviews, The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Now this looks interesting.
    I think I’ll file this away in memory for one of those stormy nights, lit by stars but no moon in sight.

  2. That second illustration could pass for a Jack Davis drawing 🙂
    Love the look!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: