Geiger: A New Cold War

Albert Howard

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A post-apocalyptic landscape is all that is left after the world goes nuclear, leaving the planet with radioactive levels. Across this wasteland, outlaws of all kinds seem to fear one man. A half-Arab man named Tariq Geiger. Legends begin to rise as to who this man is among the survivors in the underground bunkers. A woman and her child alone know who he is.

In the year 2030, a nuclear apocalypse befalls the planet and infects those who were not able to secure themselves in their underground bunkers. Geiger is one of those. As he races to secure his wife and child, he is prevented from joining them due to a conflict with racist neighbors. Now, unable to join his family, he acts as a radioactive Mandalorian in an unrecognizable world fraught with dangers. His sole goal is to protect his family from vagrants entering the shelter. His only hope is that when the radioactive levels go down to a safer level, he can join them.

For now, it is only Geiger keeping count of the levels and outlaws.

Hero for Modern Times

As the superheroes from DC and Marvel comics streak across our screens and pages of comic books, Geiger offers a different kind of superhero. While the radioactive levels on Earth have given Tariq Geiger superhuman powers, he wears no tights, and there are no flashes of cameras of bystanders or the media capturing his actions. There is only a driving need to protect his family from the dangers of the outside world. The creator of Geiger, Geoff Johns, has lent many of his personal experiences to the character, as a half-Arab himself.

Geiger represents the diversity and conflict seen in our generation, as well as others previous. On another level, while Geiger has these superhuman powers, he still lives in the shadows of those he protects, so much so that rumors arise of a glowing being protecting them. As far as what it truly is about, Johns says, “Time will make everything better, if we’re working to make it better. That’s what Geiger is all about. There’s this horrific event, but then how can he get through it?” It is this theme the author explores.

This is not the first hero or character seen in recent comics, and that is in part thanks to authors like Johns who have been able to place diverse characters into the comic industry. Examples of this is “Shazam” and “Green Lantern.” Geiger, however, is John’s first project where he was able to create the character and also write his story. In doing so, “Geiger” has become a comic to watch as it further develops from Image Comics.