Image Comics 2016
Created & Written by Mark Millar
Created & Illustrated by Frank Quitely
Coloured by Sunny Gho
Letters, Design & Production by Peter Doherty
Our superheroes face off with psychic Japanese villain Raikou, battling through different levels of consciousness to assume her powers and recruit Repro for their team. While the villains seize cities and begin their stranglehold on the global economy, will faces from the past distract our heroes from their goal?
I have to say that the opening here is utterly marvelous. The whole fight with Raikou had two purposes and she could only see one of them. All that power and being able to fight like the dickens and she still in her arrogance couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Aside from getting a chance to see one heck of a fight scene it was one heck of a class in characterization. These kids have powers that make them gods and here she is content to be hired muscle who may have honed her fighting prowess but couldn’t do anything about her mind or her ability to see the bigger picture.
I love that Mark and Frank can work together in such synchronicity that they can tell a story that has layer upon layer to it and have it all come out so beautifully. Heck on the surface it seemed even to me that they were only after Repro and then to see how all this continued to play out and see to see for myself the larger picture well it really does tell you how good these men are at this level of storytelling.
Meanwhile we get to see some of what Brandon is up to this issue as well and it makes you wonder. What is it about power that when you have it you aren’t content with what you’ve got that you have to have more? He’s mad with the desire for power and doesn’t see what he’s done or doing and instead he’s bent on world domination which makes him the most dangerous and vile of those around. It’s an interesting character study to say the least and that Mark can make the reader think deeper into what we see that way remains one of the reason we continually read the stories he writes.
Frank’s interiors go so well with Mark’s words. The way he can bring these characters to life is really something special. The way he uses pages and panels to get your attention with the angles and perspective can be mesmerizing. His attention to detail and the subtle linework to create age or emotion in the characters are his signature and it’s so interesting to see how effective that can be. That panel with the ship in Africa well that’s just sheer amazement visually and it’s why I appreciate what he’s capable of.
So as the two sides continue to do what they can to keep and grow their numbers the inevitable confrontation keeps coming. With new players introduced and new hopes and fears unleashed Mark and Frank continue to demonstrate why they are masters in their fields. This is the kind of storytelling that epics are made of.