Mark Millar’s new storyboard is here! I find it’s best to play Millar’s game when you discuss his work. However, though this comic may very well be a movie next year, you won’t find the cynical Mark Millar of Wanted and Kick-Ass fame within these pages. No, this is the Mark Millar who wrote Marvel 1985, whose main inspiration are Steven Spielberg movies he grew up with. I’d say this comic is kids-friendly, but it’s still very much a Mark Millar book, which means the gratuitous use of a few old German words.
So how does this attitude work for the book? It’d be pretty accurate to call Marvel 1985 Millar’s best work in the last few years, and I get a similar vibe from this opening issue. For one, this is the first Millar book in months that’s taken me more than three minutes to read, so that says something. Millar spends more time with his characters, his premise, his writing in general.
As always, Millar has a terrific artist with him. This time it’s Leinil Yu, who produces better work here than in his last project, also with Millar. It still pails in comparison to Yu’s best work, Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk. I finally figured out why. Yu wasn’t being inked there. Mark Morales inked Yu on Secret Invasion, and that stuff looked pretty good. With both Superior and Ultimate Avengers, Gerry Alanguilan has inked Yu, and he’s not a good fit. His inks are far too heavy for Yu, leaving many of Yu’s figures distorted. Hopefully, when Superior 2 rolls around, Yu will just let McCaig color his pencils again. All that said, the book still looks good. With the lack of action scenes, the bulk of this comic is spent watching the characters interact, which is something Yu can handle a lot better than some of Millar’s other artists, making Yu a good choice for this particular book.
Superior #1 is an impressive debut, perhaps even startling if you’re at all familiar with Millar’s work. I appreciate the sincere Mark Millar. As usual, he gives his little afterword and points out that, like Kick-Ass and Nemesis, the protagonist’s name was auctioned off for charity. The vulgar nature of those other titles urged me to ignore that, but with the endearing quality of Superior #1, those acts of kindness from Millar finally hit home. All in all, this comic actually makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, which sets it above the other recent comics trying to capitalize on the genuine superhero.