When Mark Millar launches a new project, it's become common to see him nab a big name artist he worked with at Marvel to accompany him. However, he's taken a slightly different approach recently by collaborating with those who are just as talented as the likes of Steve McNiven and Leinil Francis Yu, but perhaps not as immediately recognsiable to all comic book fans. Well, as with the recently launched (and downright brilliant) Starlight, the decision to simply find the most talented person for the job pays off yet again with the first issue of MPH. Duncan Fegredo's work is phenomenal, and his portrayal of both the big action heavy moments, and the smaller ones focusing on the characters, works perfectly for this title.
As a result, it's clear from very early on that Millar has found the right man for the job when it comes to this particular series, as is evident from a scene which sees super-speed portrayed in arguably the most unique and visually interesting way yet (and that's a huge compliment, especially after Francis Manapul's stunning work in the pages of The Flash for DC Comics).
Without giving too much away about the plot, MPH #1 takes its time in introducing us to the premise of this new Image Comics series, while simultaneously dropping an awful lot of hints about that shared "Millarworld" universe that the writer has alluded to on more than one occassion recently. As has become the norm for Millar, he quickly introduces us to a lead character who is easy to relate to and not hard to enjoy spending time with. However, just as Roscoe's naivety and optimism runs the risk of becoming a little grating, it is expertly used to take the character from one point in his life to another, and a journey which will seemingly form the foundations of this new series. What is the mysterious MPH drug which seemingly grants users super powers? And on a more personal level, what's next for Roscoe as he sets his sights on the man who set him up and left him to rot in jail?
Both of these are equally compelling narratives, and as they converge, the series promises to take us somewhere very special indeed.
MPH #1 is the kind of comic book which leaves you hungry for more by the time you reach the final page, but still extremely satisfied. As with the likes of Supercrooks, Wanted and Superior before it, it promises to be a must-read title every month moving forwards, and that's down to both the compelling characters, plot and possible impications in regards to how all these series' link together. Just as Marvel Studios perfected the shared universe concept on the big screen, Millar now looks set to do the same in the pages of his own comic books.
MPH #1 has all the makings of another huge hit for Mark Millar, and with stunning artwork from Duncan Fegredo, this is yet another must-buy series from the creator of The Ultimates and Kick-Ass.