Images & Words – Superior #3

[images & words is the comic book pick-of-the-week at OL. equal parts review and diatribe, the post highlights the most memorable/infuriating/entertaining book released that wednesday]

I’m not going to lie: I’m blasting out this review as fast as possible, pausing not for revision. Grammar is out the window. Structure can kiss my bung. And I’m not even sure whether the content is going to be coherent.

But it’s Christmas Eve and I have to travel about, sharing good tidings and celebrating life. You need to do the same, I’m sure. So let’s cut the foreplay and just get to the deed.

The comic of choice for this week is Superior #3 by Mark Millar and Leinil Yu. This funnybook, still in its incipient stage, is essentially a reimagined, superheroic rendition of Big: Simon Pooni is a normal kid until multiple sclerosis wreaks terrible havoc on his body. Visited by a space-monkey in the middle of the night, Simon wishes that he could become Superior, the star of his favorite superhero film series (and a clever Superman analogue). Waking up as Superior, Simon flees to his best friend Chris’ house, and the pair decide that Simon owes it to himself to give the comic book lifestyle a chance.

The third issue of Superior sees Mark Millar giving artist Leinil Yu a script he can run train on. There’s nothing tricky about this pitch, Millar underhands a fat whopping meatball that Yu smashes into oblivion. Yu gives us wonderful, breathtaking images of the ridiculous action we’ve come to expect from Millar: space stations crash-landing in metropolitan areas, train-wrecks, submarines being dragged out of the water and so on. Moreover, Millar’s introduction of reporter Madeline Knox and his setting of action at a beach gives Yu an excuse to try his hand at documenting the female form. While I usually have some major issues with gratuitous cleavage shots and impossible curves, I can see why mouthbreathing fanboys might hide a copy of this book under their mattresses.

From start to finish, Superior #3 fills every page with over-the-top action sequences. Seriously, I can see see Yu being used as a visual consultant for Hollywood’s popcorn adventures. Visually, this comic won’t disappoint.

While Superior‘s plot doesn’t advance too much in this issue, enough happens to make it worthwhile. As Madeline Knox (the aforementioned reporter) narrates from the future, we realize that this series is operating as a flashback. We can also infer that some major shit is going to go down if Knox is taking the time to reflect on the events. We are also teased with the idea that Ormon, the wish-granting space-monkey, may not be as benevolent as originally thought. Simon, wondering aloud, asks Chris how he came to get his powers:

Well, I prayed every night that my multiple sclerosis would go away and Mom was always praying that America would get fixed again too.

So what if that magic wish was the answer to both our prayers? What if Ormon was an angel?

Did he turn me into a superhero because America really needed one right now?

With such a productive day under Simon’s belt, the reader is left feeling optimistic. But then the page is turned, and we’re left with Ormon and his troubling thoughts:

An angel? That’s hilarious.

I’m afraid I’m actually quite the opposite.

Oh a shit. A demon? A goblin, a ghoul, a zombie with no conscience? Whatever he is, he lost about seven cute points. Muthafuggah.

Maybe I’m getting a bit saccharine in my old age, but I’m also on board with Superior because of its protagonist’s more Earthly woes. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than a sick kid, wishing that he could just be normal. That shit straight-up sucks. But how awesome is the feeling of seeing that same ailing child given the opportunity to feel good?

I’d say it’s a superior feeling.