Rating: 4/5 – An Exciting Read, But Lacks Originality.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
Writer Mark Millar (pronounced “Miller”, as an FYI) is trying to create an interconnected universe under the Image banner that, although it doesn’t have an official title, is commonly being referred to as the “Milllarverse”. We’ve seen Jupiter’s Legacy and Starlight both released, and now the first issue of MPH. Although these three titles will be interconnected in some way, much like the two series mentioned previously they feel as though they’re separate with themes and tones that are worlds apart. Although MPH is a solid and exciting read from beginning to end, it does lack the originality that his Starlight title had.
MPH opens up with the first known superhero, Mr. Springfield being captured and detained after taking a drug called MPH that looks as though it grants the user the powers similar to those of DC’s Flash. Flash forward thirty years and we’re introduced to Roscoe. A young adult that has a good heart, but doesn’t always make the right choices. Those choices lead Roscoe to a stint in prison where he starts to see that some of his unfortunate decisions may or may not have been completely his fault. As he serves his time, he’s eventually introduced to the same drug that Mr. Springfield took thirty years ago. It’s a tightly paced first issue that is perfect in it’s set up, with some fantastic art by Duncan Fegredo.
There aren’t any superheroes in costumes, nor monsters or robots. It’s everyday people and settings that Fegredo is tasked with drawing, and all his characters have a unique feel to them that makes the book feel grounded despite the upcoming “super” themes. Fegredo’s most impressive work though is seen through the latter half issue’s depiction of speed. It’s handled a bit differently than just showing speed lines, and I can’t wait to see how he handles speed in upcoming issues. There isn’t a whole lot to complain about with this first issue, other than the fact that we’ve seen this type of story before. Drugs granting the user powers is a story we’ve seen plenty of times before, as is super-speed as a power, both independently and from both Marvel and DC. It will ultimately be how Mark Millar makes these characters and situations stand out from their fairly generic origins that will define this series and make it stand apart.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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