MPH #2

Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Duncan Fegredo
Publisher: Image Comics

Previously: MPH #1

This issue opens with showing us Rosa at home. She lives in an apartment with her Aunt and her little brother whom she calls “Baseball”, who is getting mixed up with a local gang. She had an older brother who was killed sometime earlier because of gang activity, so she’s worried about Baseball, but can’t do anything about it. Her aunt just accepts this as “the way things are.” Good opening sequence as it exemplifies the environment these characters live in and why they do what they do next. Then we see Roscoe, having ran out of prison, confronting the drug dealer who set him up, and using his new-found super-speed in some pretty inventive ways to ruin the man’s life. Then Roscoe picks up Rosa and Chevy and, in the blink of an eye, whisks them all the way to California to a mansion, and then fills it with takeout food, expensive clothes and jewelry for them. He then explains what’s going on, tells them about the MPH pills. He gives each of them one, and then tutors them on how it works. The rest of the issue is mostly examples of the kids testing their powers out, as they race across the country from California to New York. It’s pretty impressive. They way Millar and Fegredo portray super-speed in this issue is not like the typical portrayals in comics. There’s a few little bits that stretched credibility, such as an early example of Roscoe using a computer at super-speed (but even if Roscoe is typing extremely fast, the computer would need more time to obey each command). There’s a similar bit with them taking each other’s pictures while racing in the Indy 5000 (I’m not sure the camera would work that fast). It almost feels like nit-picking to point this out, but the conceit of this film is that it’s supposed to take place in the “real world”, which means you can’t fall-back on the same suspension of disbelief from traditional superhero comics.

Testing out their powers, the kids find out that they’re able to move so fast they can run across water and even run up and down buildings. Even able to take giant leaps. Stopping in New York, Roscoe explains his plan for them to become billionaires while they have these powers (each pill lasts a day, and they’ve got a month’s supply left), and Rosa runs back to Detroit to get Baseball to join them, after taking out the entire gang he was with. Then we cut to someplace where the mysterious Mister Springfield, who looks like an average middle-aged man, is being held. He meets with some government agent, who apparently already knows about the kids and MPH, and Springfield is ready to stop them…

A very fun issue with some inventive action scenes. Best of all, like Starlight, Millar has managed to avoid adding any of his usual over-the-top violence and vulgarity in this series (so far) I love the way Millar writes these kids (I keep calling them “kids,” but it’s not actually clear how old any of them all), especially the way they interact with each other while using their powers. And Fegredo illustrates the scenes very well. All in all, this issue was even better than the first, I hope this series continues to impress.


MPH #2

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