Hey, they say that the truth is stranger. In “The Inventor,” part-time writer and full-time engineer Rave Mehta and artist Erik Williams have crafted a graphic novel based on the life of Nikola Tesla, the oddball physicist and futurist, born in 1856, who developed modern alternating current (AC power).
While he never possessed super powers, the real-life Tesla was just about as quirky as any fictional mad scientist, particularly in his later years, when he tried to convince Great Britain to fund him in the development of a death ray. (He was unsuccessful.) In fact, Tesla was such a bizarre and compelling person that he has frequently been recruited to be a character in fictional works, including the historical fantasy novel and film “The Prestige” and the sci-fi TV series “Sanctuary.”
But even though “The Inventor” is told through highly dramatic, superhero-worthy artwork, Mehta and Williams stick to the facts, following the inventor from his origins in Serbia through his immigration to the United States and his rivalry with inventor Thomas Edison. “Tesla came to this country with a few dollars and a dream,” Mehta recently told Wired magazine’s Underwire blog. “The material, emotional and spiritual battles he endured are what ‘The Inventor’ is about.”