Written by Geoffrey Thorne
Drawn by Khary Randolph
Published by Marvel Comics
In a few months Marvel will be debuting an ongoing title of a new Black superhero. Mosaic is created by Geoffrey Thorne and Khary Randolph, and the idea is that he’s a new Inhuman. For those of you new to the Marvel Universe, The Inhumans are an ancient race of humans who had be genetically experimented on and enhanced by an alien race back during pre-historic times. Ever since then they’ve lived separately and secretly from the rest of humanity. When a Inhuman reaches the age of 12, he or she endures a ritual in which they are exposed to something called Terrigen mists, which has the effect of mutating them to give them random superpowers, sometimes with drastic physical transformations. The Inhumans were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, who introduced them in the pages of the Fantastic Four comic book series back in the 1960’s. They’ve made many appearances since then in various, occasionally having their own short-lived series’ and miniseries’, maintaining a fanbase but never quite reaching A-list status.
However, in recent years, Marvel has been striving to change that. This is largely due to the fact that Disney, the company that now owns Marvel comics, does not own the film rights to the X-Men, so they have been trying to basically make the Inhumans a competing comic-book franchise to the X-Men, which can then be utilized in the Marvel films and TV shows. So a storyline was introduced in which it was discovered that over the centuries there have been many Inhumans who have secretly gone out into the world and integrated into regular human society. So there are many people alive today who have no idea that there are actually Inhuman descendants. A rogue member of the Inhumans’ royal family exploded a bomb which has unleashed the Terrigen Mists across the globe and if you have the mists engulf anyone who has those latent Inhuman genes, they will find themselves transformed and/or newly super-powered. If you’re just a regular human, the mists won’t effect you at all. But if you’re a mutant, the mists render you sterile.
So what we know from interviews granted by Thorne and Randolph, is that Mosaic is Morris Sackett, a pro-basketball player, who seemingly has it all. Wealth, fame, and celebrity girlfriend. This will all come crashing down when he’s exposed to the Terrigen mists, and finds himself an invisible and immaterial energy form who most possess other people’s bodies to survive. The opening arc of the series will expand upon his origin and show how he comes to terms with his new powers. But this story I’m reviewing today is a free preview, created for promotional purposes.
This short (10-page) untitled story apparently takes place well after Mosaic has gained and learned to control his powers. Morris had once randomly come across a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who was on vacation. And that agent, being a huge fan of his, told Morris a bunch of stuff about the organization. So Morris had decided to possess that agent in order to get into one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s secret bases. So, over the course of the story, we see him leap from one body to the next, as each time he gets to one level, he needs to posses someone with higher clearance to get to the next level. He keeps doing that, leaping from man to man (and occasionally woman to woman), until he gets to his destination…I won’t spoil the ending, but will just point out that a character whom Marvel movie and TV show fans are quite familiar with also makes a surprise appearance.
The story is clever in that it not only showcases how Mosaic’s powers work, we see that when he possess someone he gains all of their memories and knowledge but when he leave them the person has no memory of what happened, but also gives us some insight into what kind of person he is. As Geoff has said, Mosaic is not meant not necessarily always a “good guy,” he has his flaws, he can be selfish and arrogant. So you discover the purpose of this little adventure, his motivations for doing it could be called into question. That type of moral ambiguity can interesting if developed properly.
I was, of course, already planning to check out the ongoing series, strictly due to the fact that Geoff Thorne is writing it, and I like most of his work. This preview gives me a little more confidence that it will be worthwhile. Especially with Khary Randolph’s excellent artwork backing Geoff up. These two make quite a creative team. If you’re on the fence about it, then check this story out. It’s FREE! So you literally have nothing to lose!