When a speedster is done with the fast work, it’s time to relax – not that Blur necessarily knows what time it is.
Stanley Stewart is the World’s Fastest Mortal, and speed isn’t the only trick up his Spandex sleeve – he knows magic too! What a shame his latest foe has the same mix. But in her case, the spellcasting came first.
And so begins a ‘Race Through the Dread Dimension’ as the Blur bids to recapture his soul from the Silver Witch… if his astral self is disconnected long enough, Stanley withers and dies.
This is another entertaining entry in the Heroes Reborn event. If you need bringing up to speed (I’m not sorry!), the Marvel Universe has changed in the blink of an eye, and instead of the Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are the Squadron Supreme. Only one Avenger, Blade the Vampire Hunter, remembers the previous reality. But a few other superhumans have a nagging feeling something is wrong.
As a bit of a reality bender, it makes sense that the remade Wanda is more tuned in than most.
With so many speedsters in comics, it’s tough to find a new angle, but writer Jason Aaron makes Stanley different, even without the magic angle. Years ago, Peter David surprised readers with a fascinating presentation of Pietro Maximoff as the most impatient, bored – and probably talented – man on the planet. There’s an echo of that here, with Blur doing dozens of things at once, but the novelty factor comes with the way he sees time.
It sounds like Blur’s headed for madness, but Aaron shows us that this isn’t necessarily the case as he delivers a satisfying done-in-one that’s part of a bigger picture.
I’d love it were some of the ideas in these comics to survive the return to regular reality, such as Grizzly City, certainly a nod to The Flash’s Gorilla City. And I like Silver Witch (yes, she’s in Quicksilver green, but the 616 Scarlet Witch originally sported that colour), she reminds me of the legacy character I imagined back when Barry Allen was dating Zatanna, a kid codenamed Unstoppable, running around the world tossing out spells at speed.
The art by Federico Vicentini is scratchily pleasing, with the bear splash reminiscent of Bill Sienkiewicz in his New Mutants days. It’s fascinating to see the style applied to the Steve Ditko-designed Dark Dimension. And I love the leering lunacy of wicked Wanda. Colour artist Matt Milla enlivens the images further with a parade of eye-grabbing hues that stop just the right side of migraine. And Cory Petit’s letters are splendidly sharp.
As with the previous issues, there’s a back-up, and this week’s starts with a typically brutal bit of Bullseye business. Then we join another Daredevil character, Echo, who is apparently the Phoenix of the Week.
And there you have it, another character who realises something is wrong. It looks like Blade, having already recruited Steve Rogers to his mission, is putting together a new Avengers. It’s good work from Jason, penciller Ed McGuinness, inker Mark Morales, colourist Mark Morales and letterer Petit.
The cover image by artist Leinil Francis Yu and colourist Sunny Gho is fine, but I’d love to see what Vicentini could have done. I’ve mentioned it previously, but the cover production design is deadly dull… I’m a little more forgiving at the repeated colour scheme now I notice that a connected image is building, though someone seems to have misplaced the ruler this time.
Hey Ho, three issues in and there’s no sign of Aaron and friends dropping the ball. This is the most fun I’ve had with a Marvel event in years.