BLOG Mark Millar's Superior

Blogger Alasdair Stuart reviews issue one of the new Marvel comic penned by the writer of Kick-Ass

Superior (Issue One)
Written by: Mark Millar
Drawn by: Leinil Yu
Published by: Marvel
Out Now! $2.95

Simon Pooni escapes once a week. A high school basketball star diagnosed with MS, Simon's illness is as cruel as it is variable, denying him movement one day and speech and touch the next. Trapped in a body that no longer obeys him, Simon's world has shrunk to a single friend, Chris, and a weekly escape to the movies. For two hours, Simon is taken out of his life as he and Chris go and see whatever's good or whatever's out. For two hours, Simon can forget about the illness and what it's doing and focus on a world which is simpler, better, easier. For two hours, Simon's free.

Then the credits roll, Chris leaves and Simon is left alone in his body.

Or at least, that's what used to happen. After going to see the fifth Superior movie, about a Superman-esque old fashioned hero, Simon wakes up to find a monkey sitting on the end of his bed. The monkey introduces himself as Orman, and tells Simon he has been chosen to receive a single wish. A wish that will change Simon's life and the lives of those around him forever.

If there's a criticism to level at Superior , it's that this is very nearly all that happens. The issue is hugely decompressed and whilst it's a neatly designed introduction to the character it feels both a little sparse and weirdly self-indulgent. The conversation about how the old superheroes are dull is something which has been covered, ironically, in superhero comics for the last decade and reads more like point scoring than character development whilst the confrontation with the bullies outside the theatre feels forced and a little unnatural. They're minor problems but, in a book which looks this gorgeous and in which Millar is so clearly pushing himself, they stand out.

That being said, Superior is one of the strongest first issues I've read in a while. It's stunning to look at, Yu turning in career best work here, well written and sets up what looks like a fascinating story. Simon Pooni may have found an escape, but I suspect his life won't be getting any simpler any time soon.

This is a personal review by SFX site blogger Alasdair Stuart. Have you checked out Superior yet? Don’t forget to come and chat about comics on our forum , or pick up our sister magazine Comic Heroes . Read more about Mark Millar and Leinil Yu's new comic here .