THE ACTION IN upcoming comic book The Inventor is fueled by the fascinating life and amazing inventions of Nikola Tesla, the 19th-century physicist and electrical engineer who helped create our 21st-century future before dying penniless.
“Tesla’s true story is more surreal than any fictional account I’ve seen of him,” said writer Rave Mehta, whose Tesla biocomic, previewed in the gallery above, debuts at publisher Arcana’s booth this week at Comic-Con International. “The Inventor: The Story of Tesla is based on Tesla’s journey, from his epic birth in a lightning storm to his arrival in America, where his greatest mentor, Thomas Edison, turns into his greatest adversary and starts the War of Currents.”
Over the course of 150 pages, Mehta and artist Erik Williams skillfully skip through Tesla’s captivating mad genius and science. But it was ultimately Tesla’s magical thinking — explored in Christopher Priest’s 1995 novelThe Prestige (as well as Christopher Nolan’s 2006 film adaptation) — that landed the inventor in trouble with Edison and competitive industrialist J.P Morgan, who “pulled the plug on the Wardenclyffe Tower, Tesla’s attempt to give free and abundant energy to the world,” said Mehta.
Suitably, Mehta first conceived The Inventor five years ago while serving on the board of directors for Space Florida and researching programs for the Stephen Hawking Microgravity Education Research Center.
“I kept running into Tesla’s theories and research, which resonated with me because I have an engineering and technology background,” said Mehta. “But what I found more interesting was his life story and mindset. Tesla came to this country with a few dollars and a dream. The material, emotional and spiritual battles he endured are what The Inventor is about.”