Writer Mark Millar
Art Steve McNiven
Colors Dave McCaig
Format 21Pages of Story and Art
This book delivers the goods as a fast paced, slam bang, over the top action pack story that grabs hold of you and then never lets you go. Say what you will about Millar but the man has his finger directly on the pulse of a segment of the market that loves the big wow moments and could care about whether or not there is a coherent plot.
I’m a harsh critic of Mr. Millar but I have to hand it to him that in the midst of Blackest Night and Siege he manages to have a book that has to be the number one book for the week. No the actual events themselves are not out this week, but of all the books that hit the shelves this week, this was the one I wanted to read first and I bet it is the same for many comic fans. Whether it is morbid curiosity or anticipation if you are a fan, this is the book you need to have read this week to be part of the comic scene. Also remember while Marvel publishes the book and allows the book to use their distribution channel this is for all intents and purposes a self published book. Millar knows how to promote himself which is hugely important in this type of market.
Of course having Steve McNiven on the art side doesn’t hurt this book at all, as every page looks great and all the action is shown in graphic and gory detail. Steve captures the big moments and conveys the subtle moments with equal aplomb. While I sometimes miss his older style from the Crossgen days I get that this super hero style sells and this book is some of Steve’s best work ever. I hope both Mark and Steve make a ton of money selling this to the movies because it makes sense if someone else uses their ideas to make a big time movie that the people who had the idea reap the rewards.
As for the story itself it is over the top, heavy handed, cliché ridden and flat out silly and preposterous, in other words it was comic book madness and fun. Since we are not doing an in-continuity book and not mucking about with characters I’m vested in at all and we are not doing almost pornographic violence with little girls I found myself just enjoying this book to the utmost. The starting point in Tokyo had some moments lifted from Dark Knight, but since this is a crazed Batman like character as the bad guy it made some sort of sense. From there it is insanity. Nemesis kills a police chief and wrecks a high speed train in glorious fashion and then decides the Washington, DC police chief is his next target.
We then get to meet the police chief who is oozing goodness and is John Wayne, James Bond and Albert Einstein all rolled into one. The things he does from correcting his police officer about bad language to getting his wife flowers because he has to put her into protective custody are just flat out absurd, but it works and it makes the book fun.
Nemesis for his part has announced who his target is and makes his entrance into DC by capturing the President by taking over Air Force One and crashing it into DC.
Does most of it make any sense? Is any of it remotely plausible? No and no. Does it matter? No again, it does not matter; this is just balls to wall, pedal to the medal and glorious celebration of violence and mayhem that works best in comics.
As I said credit to where credit is due and Mark has written a pure escapism piece that is filled with great action, some funny lines and lots of destruction. Steve McNiven gives this book the look and feel that only a top flight super hero artist could do and delivers on some great shots that I’m sure will serve as the storyboards for the movie.
Overall Grade A – A popcorn action flick of insane scope and magnitude, feels like Tarantino should be directing this one.