Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Duncan Fegredo
Publisher: Image Comics
Previously: MPH #3
Okay, I’ve begun writing this post before I’ve read the issue. It’s early in the morning, I’m still waiting for Comixology to go live so I can buy the new comics. I generally try to avoid revealing major spoilers in each issue, so I didn’t address the specific details of the shocking cliffhanger in the last issue, not wanting to ruin it for those who hadn’t read it yet. Now that we’re on to the next issue I will. So if you’re one of those folks who’s waiting for the trade, stop reading this now.
So the last issue ended with Baseball in the White House, searching for info about the origins of the MPH pills, as he and Chevy are determined to find more so that they can keep using their super-speed after their current supply runs out. But then Baseball’s speed cuts off while he’s there and the Secret Service corner him in a bathroom. This is apparently due to the fact that Baseball has been using marijuana and cocaine while taking the MPH pills, despite Roscoe warning him against that, and this is affecting the pills. In a panic he swallows 4 or 5 more pills all at once and then his powers kick back in to overdrive, with him running so fast that he travels back in time. It ends with him on a city street in what looks like the early 19th or late-18th century. That’s an interesting twist that I didn’t see coming. Up to this point the series has still been mostly grounded in reality. Everything is like our world except these pills let the kids move extremely fast, which is at least semi-plausible. There’s been acknowledgment that the pills may also affect the laws of physics, as the kids are able to talk to and understand each other while at super-speed, despite moving faster than the speed of sound, but it’s not like any of them are able to vibrate their molecules enough to enable them to walk through walls, like The Flash. So introducing this time travel element is taking this series in a different direction, which could either be a good or a bad thing. We’ll see. I’ll continue this post after I’ve read #4.
Okay, well, still trying to avoid major spoilers here, so bear with me. We finally got the origin of the MPH pills, and learn that there’s been a secret history of experimentation in creating super-humans among the major world governments since the 1960’s. We get some more background on the mysterious Mr. Springfield (but still not his first name), and he’s helping the Feds track down the runners thanks not only to his knowledge of MPH but also some extra powers of his own. Roscoe, Rosa, and Chevy are still on the run. They don’t know what happened to Baseball, and we don’t get any further information on him her, he doesn’t even appear in this issue, they just believe that he’s disintegrated. Rosa blames herself for getting him involved in this and now feels guilty and convinces Roscoe that they should give away all the money they’ve stolen (which we learn amounts to $300 million), and give up this crime spree and spend their final week’s worth of pills helping people. Chevy disagrees. And we learn that his friendship with Roscoe is not as secure as was previously shown. After some revelations, we get a big threeway super-speed fight, which leads to an ambush by a heavily armed squad of Federal agents lead by Mr. Springfield who is ready to personally take them down for good. TO BE CONCLUDED.
It’s a good issue, although not without its flaws. I am mostly disappointed by the lack of follow-up here regarding Baseball. Like I said, that’s a major change to the premise of this title, so I wanted to learn more about it. Is he just stuck in the past for good? Part of me wonders if this is going to be part of some big twist Millar has planned in the end?
Maybe Baseball will spend the rest of his days in the past and somehow his presence there leads to the creation of the MPH pills in the first place? Just a theory. But if I’m right, you read it here first.
Rosa’s change of heart was sort of believable, as she’s grieving over her brother’s supposed death, but I don’t know if Roscoe would really go along with it. I mean, realistically, they can’t just give everything away and go back to their normal lives. Even if they didn’t know if the Feds knew their identities, Roscoe is still a fugitive from prison for his drug conviction. They would need to use some of that money to set themselves up in new identities somewhere else first. But that’s never discussed. I did like the revelation about Chevy, though. That felt natural.
I’m still loving the way super-speed is portrayed in this series, especially during the fight scenes, drawn wonderfully by Fegredo. So I’m still looking forward to the conclusion. This issue is 2 months after the previous one, so I hope we don’t have to wait too long for #5