The Mighty
by Peter J. Tomasi, Peter Snejbjerg (DC Comics, 2009)

What if Superman, besides being a well-known superhero, was also a merchandising institution? (In his world, not ours.) And, what if, from toy lines, comic books, clothing lines, video games, etc., he funded his own national law-enforcement agency? Well, wonder no more, because that's the premise in DC Comics' The Mighty.

Writer Peter J. Tomasi weaves an engrossing tale about a super-man (Alpha One) born of atomic testing, loved by the masses and heroic to a fault. Despite the awe and inspiration he sows among the populace, however, there seems something ... disturbing, lurking just under the surface. And when the captain of Section Omega, the aforementioned police force, is mysteriously murdered, it sets up an intriguing mystery.

Tomasi does what a writer is supposed to do; he hooks readers from the very beginning and doesn't allow them to wriggle off the line. In this case, he does it with a story that appears straightforward, but is obviously hiding important information, which makes it nigh impossible to turn away.

Characterization is also well-done, as Captain Shaw's replacement is quickly established as a sympathetic, likeable figure, seeking to grow into an important role and get out from under previous public perceptions. Sound complex? It is, in the best way.

Peter Snejbjerg's art leaves nothing to be desired. Dynamic, emotive and characterized by well-defined line work and lots of shadowing, it serves the action of a superhero tale quite well while communicating the proper sense of underlying menace and dark mood. Additionally, his storytelling and panel arrangement are smooth and well executed, delivering readers a well-paced story that's easy to follow.

In short, The Mighty is a well-executed sequential tale suited for adults who enjoy action, drama and mystery. Due to some violent imagery and strong language, it is not recommended for younger readers.

review by
Mark Allen

23 May 2009

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