Kara O'Connor

MPH #1: Poppin’ Power Pills

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Drugs are bad, or so we are led to believe. But in Image’s new book, MPH by Mark Millar, drugs maybe our ticket to remarkable abilities.

MPH #1 cover via imagecomics.com

MPH #1 cover via imagecomics.com

MPH #1
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Duncan Fegredo
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: May 21, 2014

Don’t miss out on MPH #1 (of 5) (Cover A – Fegredo) and get your own copy!

The creator of Kick Ass, Mark Millar, has a penchant for creating unconventional heroes and the characters of MPH are no exception. Sharply illustrated by Duncan Fegredo, the story places us in the 1980s with a superhuman speedster named Mr. Springfield. After losing control of his abilities and wreaking general havoc, Springfield is revealed as the first bionic human. He is quickly taken into custody by the US Army for testing and interrogation while nearby a police officer finds a bottle of drugs labeled only as MPH.

Fast-forward to present day Detroit, where a young man named Roscoe Rodriguez is caught up in a drug deal that turns into a drug bust and leads to his incarceration. Promising both himself and his lovely girlfriend, Rosa, that he will spend a clean stint in the clink in hopes of shortening his sentence, Roscoe uncovers information about his boss and mentor, Samuri Hal. It seems Hal set him up and got him sent down the river in order to steal Rosa away.

Frustrated and saddened, Rodriguez falls back on his word and finally succumbs to the drug culture permeating the penitentiary. He’s offered a new drug even the dealer hasn’t tried–MPH. The fun really begins after Roscoe doses, seizes, and is carted off by medics.

The dialogue was a bit corny at times and seemed to patronize urban youth culture, but the art was clear and clean. I really enjoyed the 80’s neon color palette, and I also appreciated the scientifically accurate ramifications of the MPH power; for example, your clothes would indeed burn off if moving at certain high rates of speed.

The setup is a fun idea and I have high hopes for the where the arc may take us. I love a good “regular Joe gets superpowers story” and appreciate when the protagonist gains his gifts from something besides a yellow sun or an alien with a green ring. I’m sure Roscoe’s new-found powers mixed with his criminal habits will generate some interesting challenges as his story develops, and I’m looking forward to watching him choose exactly which side he is on

This inaugural issue of MPH gave me an overdose of fun, and I liked every minute of it.

Mr. Mackey gives it a pass.

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