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MPH #1

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By Mark Millar & Duncan Fegredo

Millarworld launches another title! Considering this is the premiere issue, the majority of the plot is still left in the dark. A new drug is on the market that appears to give people superhuman speed and perhaps other abilities yet to be revealed. Roscoe Rodriguez is a young, street-wise Detroit native who has ambition to rise to wealth and prominence. When a deal goes wrong, he takes the fall and encounters a mysterious pill, labeled “MPH”…

A common component in Mark Millar’s writing is the use of social concerns/issues in the story. MPH is set in Detroit, a city facing socio-economic downfall. Right from the get-go, Millar makes this point known to the reader and it appears to have significance to the overall storyline. Plot elements like this, make the work relevant and also ground the story against the extraordinary circumstances that are about to unfold. Kick-Ass, Superior and Nemesis all have similar devices.

The prologue is captivating and intense. Artist Duncan Fegredo depicts superhuman speed motion dynamically and fluidly. Obviously this will call to mind the Flash and there is a panel that seems to pay homage to the speedster. What really stands out is Fegredo’s interpretation of what devastation can be left in the wake of such speed, something comics rarely focus on. Also, Mark’s narration adds to the suspense and raises a few questions.

The rest of book focuses on Rodriguez, providing the necessary exposition. Some may feel that it bogs down the comic a bit, but stick with it! The dialogue and character interactions actually feel realistic; another strength of Mark’s. The ending nicely bookends with the events in the prologue that makes one wish there was just one more page.

Fans of the Millarworld series will no doubt pick this up since it will tie in with other books. This seems to be another strong title from Millar. Strong character development and immersive art…One can’t ask for more!

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