Pipedream Pull List: Mark Millar’s MPH #1 (Image Comics)

Mark Millar’s MPH #1 is the first issue in a new five issue miniseries from the mind of Kick Ass creator which tells the story of a young man attempting to gain fortune and glory within the world using the power of super speed. But is this new series on the fast track to success or will it end up spinning out on the first corner?

MPH01 coverPublisher: Image Comics
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Duncan Fegredo
Price: £1.99/$2.99 from Image Comics Digital Store and ComiXology

MPH is the newest entry under Mark Millar’s ‘Millarworld’ imprint as he and Duncan Fegredo bring about a story which describes one man’s efforts to acquire fame, money and the American Dream. However, in order for him to do this he’s going to need superpowers.

MPH tells the story of Roscoe Rodrigues, a drug runner for a local crime boss. Roscoe has one dream; for him and his girl to be rich and powerful with their own business and to want for nothing, a far cry from their current poverty line existence. However, when Roscoe is caught in a police sting and sent to prison, his plans appear to be in tatters….until he is offered a different kind of drug, one which will have him moving in the right direction again, only very, VERY fast.

While much of Mark Millar’s contract work has felt somewhat hit and miss in the past, there is no disputing that his creator-owned work is top notch and with this issue, MPH certainly seems to be following in the trend. Millar has, by his own volition, tried to create a story focusing on someone’s attempts to gain the American dream for themselves. This is very much evident in the protagonist of MPH who feels so incredibly upbeat and idealistic for much of the issue that you can’t help but like him, despite his apparent anti-hero status.

Millar has also attempted something unique in the visualizing of superspeed where, unlike the Flash or Quicksilver where there movements appear as a blur, the book depicts time completely stopping while Roscoe moves to show the power more from his point of view instead of those around him.

Of course, this lack of visual superspeed in no way diminishes the art duties and Duncan Fegredo steps up to the plate perfectly. Fegredo, who is probably best known of late for his work on Hellboy, provides fantastic detail on every panel. Working with a much more traditional American comic book style compared to the stylised Mignola-esque work on Hellboy, he flips back to this style expertly and it certainly maintains the believability of the character especially with the books time stopping notion.

There are some niggles of course, such as, Roscoe’s personality change towards the end to stereotypical gangster and the seemingly unconnected prologue and epilogue to the issue. However, these are minor at worst and fail to detract from what is an enjoyable, fast paced story.

pd_review4“A fantastic first issue which delivers thrills and spills at breakneck speed  with enjoyable characters and an interesting premise (especially with it’s inverted time lapse sequences). If it manages to keep up the pace for the full 5 issues MPH will be on the fast-track to the winners’ podium for Millar and Fegredo.”