Dr Strange, Zatanna, Dr Fate, Scarlet Witch . . . comics are full of gorgeous, altruistic, self-denying magicians, but here’s something new – a pot-bellied, lecherous, drink-sozzled medium for hire. And I love him.
Mysterius is the star of Wildstorm’s new series written by Jeff Parker and drawn by Tom Fowler. Parker, I know from Marvel’s excellent X-Men: First Class and Agents of Atlas books, and he was the selling point for me. And he doesn’t disappoint, introducing a fascinating new character, a mystical gun for hire who wants to do the right thing, but doesn’t always manage it. Assisting Mysterius is Ella, a journalist who just can’t get that big break (and Mysterius’ mischief doesn’t help).
In this first issue they display the kind of chemistry it takes TV shows weeks to establish and I was truly disappointed when this first issue ended mid-mystery (click for bigness). The meat of the book tells how Ella meets Mysterius, and it’s a fun ride, as a high-class seance goes wrong. The framing sequence sees Ella check out a possible new client, and I look forward to that becoming the A-plot.
Tom Fowler is a new name to me, and he’s every bit a partner in the magic created here. His characters are full of life and character, reminding me of E-Man’s Joe Staton crossed with Mad Magazine’s Angelo Torres. The general light-hearted sensibility makes the darker sequences all the more dramatic.
Mysterius is a fresh, thoroughly entertaining spin on a comics archetype and I recommend you give it a try.