Review: MPH #2- Revenge and Loyalty at Super Speed!
As Mark Millar’s editorial at the back of the issue will tell you, Millar World is now 10 years old. Started whilst still slaving over his epic stories at Marvel he now appears to be creator owned entirely, building his own glorious universe for fans to delve into. MPH is the latest addition to this fantastic new world of comics and follows suit with its predecessors superbly. Working with Duncan Fegredo (Hellboy) this promises to be one of Millar World’s best series yet, and it is living up to the hype.
Revolving around smart criminal Roscoe, who is set up (in the first issue) by his drug dealer boss and sentenced to 15 hard years. Whilst wallowing in self-pity in prison he is given a strange drug, MPH, which gives him super-speed; aiding his escape. The second issue shows what he does first with his newly found powers.
Being a spoiler free review there is little information her of these actions, as not to spoil the book for potential readers. Having the first issue revolve heavily around Roscoe and his relationships with the other characters introduced so far, the second issue expands on Rosa, his girlfriend. She was given little attention in the first issue, but her importance to Roscoe and her role in the story were crystal clear thanks to the brilliant writing from Millar. The first few pages introduce her family, and by doing so explain the state of America in this reality, in particular Detroit (their home). The financial hardships of the city forcing an almost warzone type mentality between gangs and police, as crime becomes the only way for its most impoverished citizens to survive. As always, Millar in his wisdom highlights social ills of the world by exposing them in their rawest and most desperate form. This is brought perfectly to life through fantastic artwork by Fegredo and colorist of first 15 pages Peter Doherty (where this part of the narrative is delivered).
It is the artwork that should garner most attention in this review, not because of a lack of spoilers, but because of its absolute brilliance. Drawing characters at super-speed can be a real challenge, and far too easy to go with the conventional methods; but Fegredo somehow manages to merge this with his own, unique take. This delivers a truly wonderful visual experience that works so perfectly with the story being told. The panel structure early on in the issue allows him Roscoe to ping about the page in an intriguing and fascinating manner whilst not overcomplicating the reader, it is simple to follow but delivered excellently.
The issue progresses the story promptly and tells the reader much more about the central characters without over burdening them with too many plot points. Great writers are able to say all they wish to without saying too much, and Mark Millar is one of comic’s best. The issue prompts more questions for the readers as well, teasing explanations to come; but again without forcing the point or spoon feeding the reader.
MPH is so far as good as any Millar World title and this issue draws the reader in even further to this fascinating story through superb writing and brilliant art work. 10 years in to Millar’s World of creator owned magnificence, and I look forward to the next 10 eagerly.