Thursday, 6 October 2011

New Beginnings - Brilliant #1

After what must have felt like an overwhelming amount of DC comics coming to the spotlight and being put under review, we get a sniff of something different. Now that all of the issue #1’s have filtered through and DC’s reboot has been done the scope opens up a little more.

This week Bendis and Bagley have given us the new comic Brilliant.

Stepping away from the normal conventions of superpowers being accidental, mutations or unexplained, Bendis looks to forge a path in a lesser used direction.
The story opens with an unusual bank robbery where the only weapon would be described as malicious suggestion. We are introduced to Amadeus.

In a very quick shift, we move to a very different scene of a more subtle home coming. As the story develops we are introduced to more of the characters in what is essentially an issue designed to open up the cast without going in too deep as well, letting you consider who the players are.

The evening rolls on with an obvious group of friends showing themselves and then the bombshell is dropped... what if you could create superpowers?

It’s a big proposition as it enforces the idea that this is a world set outside of the normal “hero” idea and that the surrounding environment is not used to this concept.

I really liked this as it meant that the preconceptions that we all assume for a super based comic are gone and a blank slate is there to be used.

Visually, it’s fair to say that Bagley has done what he does best. Given that this comic is meant to have a strong real-world feel to it, the artwork certainly supports this. With the exception of a slightly over the top party complete with a very similar looking Robot in Disguise, you certainly can relate to the “normality” of it all.

It does lose some definition in some of the frames but then again this is what we’re used to when it comes to his artwork. It’s not crisp sharp edges and angles, it’s a softer approach with the extra use of shadow and shade that supports it more.

One of the other things that I liked was when I took it out of the plastic cover it was weighty and felt substantial. My frustration came when I found out that the comic finished approximately three quarters of the way through and the remainder of the issue felt like a semi-narcissistic self-promotion from Bendis. Far too many articles and to be honest I only felt like scanning it. It just felt like a waste of space that could have been used on a perfectly good comic.

I love the whole premise and production of the comic and the storyline is a new take on things set in a real world scenario. I’m interested to see where this goes but I wouldn’t say that this was the best of the more indie titles by other authors such as Mark Millar. I will be following this title as there are some very subtle hooks there as you’ve been left with some bigger questions.

For something fresh and different it’s well worth taking off the shelf and taking home. But is it Brilliant? The verdict is still not in.

Matt Puddy will be taking some time to study his Icon-ography.

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