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Another of Mark Millar’s bite-size minis has come to an end this week within the pages of MPH #5. After a hiatus of a few months, this extra-sized issue concludes Millar’s first outing since the spectacular Starlight. So, does it live up to that sort of hype? Does it blaze its own path, or does it sink under the pressure? Let’s just get into it then.
First things first, let’s start with Duncan Fegredo’s art. Rather uncharacteristically, in terms of amount of importance, the heavy lifting of the art far outweighs the dialogue. Fegredo is really the showcase here, with two full page spreads, each quite beautifully rendered. If there was any doubt that he was perfect for this book, it was surely depleted.
The expressions and energy that fills the book to the brim. Coupled with the bright, intense, coloring and it created for a incredibly entertaining visual experience. It was a good balance of grit and just that old fashioned neon simplicity. Honestly, it shouldn’t be the type of thing that works out but it somehow finds a way. Plus, it makes for great reaction image fodder.
Of course, all of the above doesn’t mean that the writing itself wasn’t up to par. Far from it, but rather it just means that the writing really took the backseat here. Millar is able to craft some really enjoyable scenes – one in particular left me in stitches. Yet, it just feels a bit too flat when compared to the attention and detail put into the art. That said, everything is wrapped up very neatly in this finely tuned conclusion.
Perhaps the biggest part of this was that pretty much every character, aside from the main villain, was just incredibly nice. It was a great way to go, and I enjoyed it because of that aspect, but it lacks a bit of that “umph” that more flawed characters can convey. When things go right or when triumph is near for really nice characters – it feels good, but not particularly exciting. Not so much a bad point, but the best character bit was the one given to Baseball. Very tear-jerking.
Overall, not bad for yet another notch in Millar’s current hot-streak. It would have been preferable to have included a bit more character moments to flesh them out, but it was overall what was promised. A high-octane thrill ride, nothing less and only a bit more. Makes a good impression for Millar’s book going forward, which I would hope are as good or even better moving forward.