REVIEW: Superior #3

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Who is Superior? Where did he come from? What did Major Spoilers think of the third issue from Mark Millar and Leinel Yu?

Take the jump and find out.

Superior #3 (6-Part Limited Series)
Writer: Mark Millar
Pencils: Leinil Yu
Inks: Gerry Alanguilan with Jason Paz & Jeff Huet
Colors: Sunny Gho with Javier Tartaglia
Letters: V.C.’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Icon via Marvel Comics

The recap page tells us everything we need to know. Fairly recently, high-school student Simon Pooni was stricken with multiple sclerosis, effectively stealing away his mobility. His best friend Chris sticks with him through the tough times and is there to share in the behind-the-scenes glory that soon transforms Simon’s life. After a day at the movies with Chris, enjoying the latest sequel to their favorite big screen superhero (Superior), Simon is home in bed asleep by evening. He awakens to find a talking monkey (Ormon) poised at his bedside, clad in an astronaut suit, of all things. Dimensional travel ensues and the diseased form of Simon is summarily transformed into that of the fictional character, Superior.

You Will Believe A Boy Can Fly…Eventually

Knee deep in this third issue, Simon and Chris have already worked through the capabilities and limitations of his new power set. Flight proved to be the biggest challenge, but eventually the barrier was breached and Simon seems to have taken very well to his newly appointed role as Earth’s only real superhero. The list of powers include super strength and hearing, heat vision and flight. Isn’t that just super, man? At the very least, it’s Superior.
Superior makes himself known to the world by committing heroic acts that defy all rules of physics. He rescues a plummeting space station, drags a huge stranded submarine through 20 miles of ocean floor, stops trains, all the things that one would expect Superm…uh, Superior to do.

This Is Super, Man!

It’s no coincidence that Mark Millar and Leinil Yu have joined forces to birth their creator-owned property, Superior. Millar has publicly declared his affinity for a certain Man of Steel (and wrote the highly-regarded Superman: Red Son) and Leinil Yu’s major breakout came within the pages of the Mark Waid penned Superman origin story, Birthright. Heck, even the title character’s name is within throwing distance of Superman’s and as I mentioned, the characters powers are almost a complete match.

Is That A Talking Monkey In Your Astronaut Suit Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

The big difference is that these powers were granted by, well…a talking space monkey. Also, Superior’s costume is rather unorthodox, foregoing traditional superhero primary color schemes and instead utilizing earth tones. The look is an amalgam of Flash Gordon and the Sentry, topped off with the largest wrestling championship belt ever seen.
What surprises me most is the overall quality of the book and its ability to remain on a fairly regular release schedule. Let’s be honest here, Millar is not exactly the best example of a comics creator who meets deadlines. War Heroes is perhaps the best (worst?) example. In August 2008, War Heroes #1 hit the stands and as of today, we’ve only seen up to issue #3 (of a 6 part limited series).

Nothing about this book feels rushed. Yu’s artwork, which tends to get less defined and murkier as deadlines rear their ugly head, looks quite polished and fully rendered. There’s no skimping on finite details nor are there blocks of crosshatched backgrounds. Superior shows a return to form for both creators and stands head and shoulders above Millar’s other creator-owned title, Nemesis.

Bottom Line: This Is Some Of Millar & Yu’s Finest Work

A compelling story and an obvious love of all things super, Superior #3 earns 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆