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    Review: Superior #5

    By | October 7th, 2011
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    Written by Mark Millar
    Illustrated by Leinil Francis Yu

    The President has asked him to win the war in Afghanistan, the UN has asked him to feed the starving and the world needs saving 24/7. But Superior doesn’t even break a sweat. He can handle all this in stride until his past comes catching up with him and he finds out why a 12-year-old boy with special needs was given these powers in the first place. This is a must-read issue where the mystery that has been plaguing fandom for the past twelve months is finally revealed in a shocking twist.

    I was out of the country from March until August. In that time period, not a single issue of Superior came out. Then more than two months passed. Now we have another issue.

    Is this the most delayed comic on the planet right now?

    Find out if it was worth the wait after the jump.

    Mark Millar has been getting negative press lately (from us, included) for his reliance on shock appeal in the pages of Kick-Ass 2 #4. Some have suggested that he is a writer that is incapable of telling a good comic these days, instead having to rely on dark twists and violence to appeal to fans.

    Bite your tongues my friends, as Superior is back, and with it we have a wonderfully well-rounded story that blends together the sentiment of Captain America with the presence of Captain Marvel while also reminding us of other examples of pop culture (namely, Big). Well, all of that and Satan as an astronaut suit wearing monkey.

    One of the things that this issue of Superior most reminded me of was this summer’s “Captain America: The First Avenger.” In particular, a quote that Stanley Tucci as Abraham Erskine threw down as Steve Rogers questioned why he should be the one to undergo the Super-Soldier Serum treatment.

    “Why someone weak? Because a weak man knows the value of strength, the value of power… “

    In Superior, a little boy with MS is given the opportunity to be his favorite superhero for a week, and with his time he manages to cure a lot of the greater atrocities going on around the world, because as a disabled, good-natured kid he realizes what the power he has gained means. In this issue, Millar presents the kid as a one-man wrecking ball against great negatives throughout the world, all the while taking time to make readers remember that this kid is still a kid (I have to say, I enjoy seeing the Miami Heat the lose even in fiction).

    Simon Pooni knows weakness, as his body failed him just recently, leaving him in a position without his full suite of abilities even as a young man. But as Superior, he takes his Billy Batson-like innocence and sense of right and wrong, and he becomes the altruistic Captain Marvel like hero of the world. This book is every bit as idealistic and good natured in many ways as some think Kick-Ass is repulsive and vile.

    But Millar still spins a good yarn with hard choices that have to be made. While the powers of the world loom in trying to figure him out (led by one particularly ardent reporter), his original deal and the truth behind it form the crux of the ending and of what remains of this mini-series. And man, it is a delicious doozy that threatens to warp even the goodness inside of Simon.

    Artist Leinil Francis Yu, in many parts, completely nails this book. There are some sections that his art is so spot-on it kills me (namely, the close with Ormon the devil monkey showing his hand to Simon), and it is overall a solid looking book. However, even with the massive delays this book has a slight sense of sloppiness in sections. There are moments where the detail is sparse and underwhelming, and that takes away from even some of the best story bits.

    Even with that in mind, this book is still a blast and a half. This is the Mark Millar that I love. If I could read Superior each and every week I would – it’s just a good time with a real joyous sense of storytelling at its center. Here’s hoping the next issue comes sooner than this one did, and that in the process everything comes out all hunky dory.

    Continued below

    Final Verdict: 8.0 – Buy (but maybe wait for the trade at this point)

    David Harper

    David Harper mainly focuses on original content, interviews, co-hosting our 4 Color News and Brews video podcast, and being half of the Mignolaversity and Valiant (Re)visions team. He runs Multiversity's Twitter and Facebook pages, and personally tweets (rarely) @slicedfriedgold. By day, he works in an ad agency in Anchorage, Alaska, and he loves his wife, traveling and biscuits & gravy (ordered most to least, which is still a lot).