Thursday, 5 May 2016
Mythic Review (Phil Hester, John McCrea)
Science is a lie, mythology is real and magic keeps the world turning – no it’s not a Fox News broadcast, it’s Phil Hester and John McCrea’s latest comic, Mythic! Mythic Lore Services are the guys behind the scenes fixing the magical problems of the world while keeping it all hidden from humanity. Now someone is taking out all of the Mythic teams around the world – someone determined to bring about Ragnarok, the Norse Apocalypse!
The series starts well with a Men in Black-type opener where a promising young man is recruited by a mysterious agent after he defeats a monster. Then we’re into the first storyline where a Mythic team is trying to get the sky and the mountains to bone so it’ll rain on a drought-ridden region - that was pretty cool, never seen that in a comic before!
Then unfortunately things get progressively worse from then on as Hester mangles the story into incomprehension. I get that Mythic teams are disappearing but not who’s doing it or why. The villain of this story and their motivations are so hard to suss out. And really, without the summaries at the start of each issue, I wouldn’t have picked up that whoever the baddie was (a robotic schoolgirl or something?!), they were trying to bring about Ragnarok.
The characters that make up Mythic are all mythological beings - Cassandra, a Greek immortal; Venus, a fertility idol; Asha, a giant baby and leader of Mythic; Waterson, an Apache shaman; and a two-eyed cyclops called Anatol (surely he’s NOT a cyclops if he has two eyes?). But they never become more than just names to me even with the laborious and uninteresting backup origins. Their motivations for doing what they’re doing are also unclear - they seem to just save the world because they’re the good guys? I don’t get how science could simply be wrong either in this world, how they’ve managed to fool so many people for so long, but I guess it doesn’t matter and Hester, probably rightly, doesn’t bother attempting to explain it away.
John McCrea’s art though is pretty decent. I’m not his biggest fan and if it weren’t for his work with Garth Ennis I wouldn’t have come across it nearly as much, but Mythic has some of his best line work that I’ve seen, accentuated by Michael Spicer’s superb colours.
Mythic has a fun premise but the whole thing falls apart with a vague, directionless, dull story, bland characters - too many really - and a poorly defined villain. You might like this if you’re a fan of Dark Horse’s BPRD but Mythic is nowhere near as good as that title (and BPRD has really gotten crap lately!).