Itâ€™s like 1938 all over again
This week saw the release of The Mighty from DC Comics.Â While the series is from DC, it is not set on New Earth (or whatever they hell theyâ€™re calling it after Final Crisis), but it does feature a hero who might as well be Superman.
Are readers tired of the Superman mythos?Â The strongest man in the world protecting those less fortunate than he seems like a great premise, but it really depends on how that character views himself among mere mortals.
Instead of being rocketed from a dying world, Alpha One is the result of nuclear testing.Â His powers include super strength, flight, super hearing, heat vision, and so on, just like the guy in the red and blue tights.Â Those that pay attention to â€œgreat moments in comic book historyâ€ will recognize the oft overused symbols of the Man of Steel including references to the cover to Action Comics #1, Jimmy Olsenâ€™s watch, popular catch phrases like â€œmore powerful than a locomotiveâ€, and others youâ€™ll have to search out yourself.
Since this is a new character and a new universe, it is a nice homage, but on the other hand, readers donâ€™t know if this ongoing series takes place in one of the yet named multiverse Earthâ€™s or is outside of DC completely.Â This then causes the Superman references to fall into the â€œyeah, we get what youâ€™re doingâ€ category.Â I would really like DC to bring back the Multiverse Earth numbering symbol used during Countdown to make things a tad more clear.Â My worst fear is that at some point in the future, someone is going to break through the Bleed and weâ€™re going to be subjugated to a major crossover team-up.
This issue does feature the title character, but Alpha One tends to blend into the background, while Section Omega – the private police organization that only serves to back up Alpha One – takes center stage.Â I like the explanation of the private task force that cleans up after the hero deals with the big disasters.Â The reason for its being is quickly explained, and in a world where there is only one hero, the need for this kind of organization makes sense.
There is an ominous air about the hero, as heâ€™s lived from the 40â€™s to present day without aging, and when the head of Section Omega dies under mysterious circumstances, it makes me wonder if this series is going to be about the heroic figure, or if it is going to be a mystery featuring the reveal that Alpha One is not as good as we believe.Â That feeling is certainly heightened on the final page of the issue, featuring Alpha One hovering above a building spying on the conversation between the occupants.
The protagonist for this series is Lt. Gabriel Cole, whoâ€™s worked his way through the ranks of the private police force, and has a mysterious connection to Alpha One.Â Â Heâ€™s a likable enough fellow, but the questions about his past seem a little hinky and create even greater mystery for the reader.
And thatâ€™s one of the biggest draws for the first issue; readers can instantly figure out how the world is set up and works, but it is the mystery of the charactersâ€™ pasts that make you want to continue to read the series.Â While this mystery is interesting, the reader is left with a lot of empty holes in the story, which is can become a turn off down the road.
Providing the second issue doesnâ€™t take a downward turn, Iâ€™m in for at least six issues to see where everything is going.Â I would like to see the pace pick up a bit with at least one major reveal by the end of next issue.Â Peter J. Tomasi tells a very good first issue, earning The Mighty #1 3.5 out of 5 Stars.