MPH #1 (of 5)

by lucstclair on May 20, 2014

~~A drug in the form of a pill that gives you super speed like The Flash? How do I get a prescription? Here’s my review of MPH #1 from Image Comics. The story’s about Rodriguez, a two-bit hood trying to make a name for himself in the criminal underworld by selling drugs to a potential buyer for a man named Samurai Hal. But when the deal goes sour, Rodriguez ends up in the slammer with a sentence of 5 years of hard time. When Cedric, the local prisoner pusher offers him an unknown drug simply called MPH, Rodriguez takes Cedric’s advice to chill and swallows a pill. Rodriguez falls into what looks like an overdose and is rushed on a gurney to the emergency room, but suddenly things start acting weird around him. Lights are flickering at a snail’s pace, people are moving extremely slowly and don’t seem to notice him walking around. With his new found ability, Rodriguez simply walks out of the prison a free man without attracting anyone’s attention, except for maybe a mysterious man named Mr. Springfield.

Written by Mark Millar or Mill-ARE like some people like to pronounce it, this a fun and wild new comic from a writer who takes the super hero genre and turns it upside down and gives it some well deserved balls. With great titles like Superior, Super Crooks and Kick Ass under his belt, Millar always offers in your face characters with stories that don’t hold back the way that some comic book companies never do, one of them starts with an “M” and the other a “D”.

The illustrations are by Duncan Fegredo, now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a while. The last book I read that he drew was Vertigo’s Enigma, a trippy and violent book from the 90’s written by Peter Milligan. It’s a great book and I’ve always liked Fregredo’s odd drawings with his characters with hard edges and sunken features. It looked a little darker back then, but it’s still looks good.

I love the panels of Rodriguez walking around and feeling the affects of the drug that makes everything around him move in slow motion. In a movie, this would be a simple task to film, but in a comic the illustrations are not moving at all so Fegredo uses things like objects that are free falling, detailed backgrounds and surrounding characters staring into space to really give the reader a sense of how Rodriguez perceives this new drug induced world of his. Fegredo absolutely nails it.

The story opens and ends with intrigue and characters are competently introduced, which makes me crave the next issue and that’s a very good sign. Unlike the Rodriguez character, Millar’s not a speed demon when it comes to shipping out new issues, I think it took Superior a full year to wrap up and that was a mini series. So I figure this mini will wrap up in let’s say 2015? I hope I’m wrong.


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