Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mighty comments

Settling back in from my two weeks of travel and glad to be safely ensconced at home base once more. I took a few minutes tonight to do a quick skim of different comic review sites (thanks to "The Husband" for tipping me off to the CBR review) to see how the Mighty #1 is faring and I'm happy to see that readers seem pleased with the first issue. Very happy.

Last year, I did an online commentary track for the fourth issue of Arena and I thought I might try something similar for The Mighty, giving out my thoughts on each issue a week or so after it comes out. If you're already bored with reading about the book, have no fear! I'll blog about other boring things, too! I'm at least a two trick pony.

First issues are tough because usually, they involve so much stage setting and introduction of characters, that getting to the meat of the actual story can be a bit tricky, a balancing act that Tomasi in particular is good at. I think we established the overall tone of the book well, along with hinting at some character background that will come into play in a big way, and most importantly, establishing the mystery aspect of the story. I think people were also surprised to see that Alpha-One, the superhero of the story, is at least starting out in a supporting roll and that the lead has gone to Gabriel Cole.

Two names to keep fresh in the back of one's mind: Taylor Rhines and Dominic Deeds. Both are ex-captains of Section Omega who ended their tenure in very different ways, Rhines apparently going bugnuts crazy from the pressure while Deeds seems to have taken the Tom Clancy route with his retirement. Somewhere in the first five issues, these guys play into the story. It'll be helpful to remember them.

One comment I saw in a couple of different reviews was that the book felt very familiar, with Alpha-One being an analogue to Superman, and the fact that we homaged a few comic book tropes (Jimmy Olsen's signal watch, the more-powerful-than-a-locomotive iconography) to set the stage. Obviously, these were deliberate choices as was Alpha-One not actually speaking throughout, establishing him as a presence more than a personality. Peter and I want you to be comfortable, to feel like you immediately know and-- more or less--understand this world from a lifetime of comic book reading. There are layers to be peeled back and twists and turns coming. Just because you might vaguely feel like you've seen it all before doesn't necessarily mean you really know what you're seeing.

One other thing while I'm thinking of it. In our minds, PT and I wrote this series as chapters in a novel. Each issue is a different chapter in the overall story. It's paced a little differently than a regular comic as a result, another choice we deliberately made to serve the story better. I'd suggest if you like what you're reading, try to re-read the previous issue the night before you read the next one. If you're like me, you forget every detail of a comic you read in the four weeks it takes to get the next issue. I even sometimes forget the details of what I'm writing in the time between producing the next script. I've learned the hard way that a little refresher never hurts, that's all I'm saying.

Catch you next time, thanks for reading.


Homesick At Space Camp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Homesick At Space Camp said...

Keith, I really enjoyed issue 1, nice set up and enough to keep readers hooked I think. Can't wait for issue 2, I'm always a fan of reading something fresh to read. Thanks for an original comic.



SallyP said...

I bought it, I read it, and goshdarned it, I enjoyed it.

Good work!