Being on deaths door can rob you of many things besides your future. But when your memories begin to fade, and important moments slip through the cracks, you are left with what kind of man you want to be. For better, or for worse, as the tumor is just part of the laundry list of troubles.
** Warning! This issue doesn’t come out until April 20th, 2010. So SPOILERS may be ahead! **
MALIGNANT MAN #1
Creator and Story: James Wan
Writer: Michael Alan Nelson
Art: Piotr Kowalski
Colors: Jordi Bellaire
Letters: Steve Wands
Editor: Matt Gagnon
Covers: Trevor Hairsine and Rael Lyra
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Story Pages: 22
Cover Price: $3.99 USD
Previously, in Malignant Man: Nothing at all, this is the first issue of the mini-series.
Alan Gates, a man who is a few months away from shuffling off his mortal coil. Even though the brain tumor that wracks his brain, stealing his memories, it can’t take away his humanity as he risks what bit of life he has left to help a woman who is being mugged. In doing so Alan is rewarded with a bullet to the brain that opens up a spiraling mystery that shakes loose a hidden past, and strange abilities.
First off this issue hits you in the gut with how bad it is to be dying, I am not saying it would ever be a cake walk, but this issue starts off kind of depressing. To the credit of the writer, Michael Alan Nelson, for making me feel something in this issue, making me get attached to the character of Alan, who has been give a raw deal. Though the story kind of feels like a unpublished script. That’s not really a bad thing, it just doesn’t feel like a comic book, structure wise.
The plot is pretty unique, and seems to be pointing towards a pseudo Super-Hero thread, that may turn out okay. The look displayed on the cover doesn’t happen in this issue, and it may be for some down the road. But as far as this issue is concerned the guy on the cover, and the one under it are two different people. Also, from first glance the concept comes off kind of like the video game PROTOTYPE, but so far there are only slight resemblances.
This comic is bloody. Not the bloodiest, but still pretty gruesome. The artwork by Piotr Kowalski is nice, and really sets the comics tone pretty early on. The world that is crafted by Kowalski is dim, in a good way. We are seeing this world through Alan’s perspective, and it’s all bleak, but that’s where it really comes to life, since he is on deaths door, it‘s not going to be all rainbows, and smiling faces, it‘s going to be brutal, and it is.
The character designs are pleasant to the eyes, and can be described as “humble”. They worked really well within the pages of the comic, and didn’t put me off at any moment. There were some scenes in the later part of the comic that did kind of stick out though. Where the faces were noticeably different, almost as if the ER staff stepped out of Scott McCloud’s ZOT!. But it’s not something that detracts away from the comic in any way, it was just kind of intriguing.
The page design was easy on the eyes, it was easy to follow, and was composed really well. The pacing was smooth, the angles that were employed where very appealing, and there were a few creative ones thrown in for good measure. The colors by Jordi Bellaire really did add a “Oomph” to the artwork by Kowalski, making the blood stained walls really come to life in all their gory glory.
This comic is part one of a four part mini series, and with it being from BOOM! Studios, chances are more than likely that it will see print as an affordable TPB. The only exception to that rule, is the comic book SALVADOR that came out a few years back, had one issue at BOOM! Studios, and vanished into the night.
I liked this issue, and I am on the fence about getting the other three issues, when I could easily await for the collection that is almost assuredly to come out. The comic delivered on character, art, and story, three key things to a good comic, and thus making it worth at least a pick up of the first issue.
Malignant Man #1 receives 3.5 out of 5 stars.