Wednesday, 2 July 2014

MPH #2 Review (Mark Millar, Duncan Fegredo)

Roscoe, our “hero”, has escaped from prison thanks to a wonder-drug called MPH which makes him temporarily super-fast. He gets his own back on the drug-dealing boss who set him up for prison in the first place, before finding his girlfriend Rosa and best friend Chevy and introducing them to MPH. Together, they start having mind-blowing fun playing tag on the highway and getting their photos taken atop Daytona cars. No, they’re not 11 years old, technically they’re “grown ups”. 

Mark Millar somehow convinced a studio to buy this - this! - to make into a movie? It’s the story of shallow cretins doing shallow things with super-powers thrown in because that’s popular in movies today! MPH is garbage! It’s playing out as predictably as you’d expect - Roscoe and his pals are from bankrupt Detroit and have always dreamed of the “good life”, ie. mansion, expensive cars, etc. and being super-fast enables them to live it out, at least temporarily. Yeah… great. 

Am I supposed to be rooting for them because they grew up in tough neighbourhoods without the advantages of people who didn’t grow up in tough neighbourhoods? Because that’s not a reason to like a character. Not that they seem like real characters anyway - rather they come across as characters you’d get from watching The Wire, which is what I suspect Millar has done here. 

And to see them spend the issue standing around a mansion fingering stolen goods? That’s not entertaining, nor was I thinking “hell, yeah good for them!” - I was wondering when Millar was going to stop being predictable and create some kind of story because this unimaginative crap doesn’t cut it.

The issue ends almost the same way the first one did, with a few words from the mysterious man under government watch, who now has a name: Springfield. Presumably he’s the guy who first used MPH in the ‘80s but Millar doesn’t really give much away so the endings to these two issues have been shrugs rather than gasps. Yeah, 50-ish guy talks cryptically - so what?

Millarworld has produced some stinkers over the last few years - The Secret Service being one of them, which has also bizarrely become a movie - but I would say MPH is Millar’s worst one in a while. Lazy and derivative, this series cannot end fast enough.

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