Writer: Mark Millar
Art: Rafael Albuquerque
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Peter Doherty
Designer, Producer: Melina Mikulic
Editor: Rachael Fulton
Review by Michael Farris, Jr.
Prodigy introduces us to Edison Crane, who from an early age exhibits extraordinary genius…much to the consternation of his friends and parents. Later in life, he competes in simultaneous chess matches, runs a lucrative company, performs daring stunts, and investigates unexplainable phenomena for world governments. Much of his activities don’t present enough of a challenge, but the latest happening in Australia might have him involved in a problem that’s too big for even him.
There were two big reasons I wanted to review this book: Mark Millar wrote it, and the solicit for the book mentioned that Crane is an expert in the occult. I had to know what it was about. A big potential weakness I was worried about, though, had to do with a main character who is the definition of a prodigy. If he’s a genius, will he be likeable? If he’s good at everything, will there be conflict?
Of course, Millar’s writing is able to take those two questions and help them answer each other. While you can’t exactly describe Edison Crane as “likeable,” he is surprisingly relatable. People live their lives working unfulfilling jobs that don’t provide the meaning they want…if only they could do something bigger and more significant. While Crane seems to be at his peak, you can still see he is tortured by wanting a challenge and new meaning in life. This, of course, appears to be a big conflict our character will have to face.
This first issue also introduced a lot of potential for many issues to come. Aside from the very strange invasion and conspiracy we’re left with by the end of the book, I feel like we could also be perfectly entertained with more stories of Edison’s childhood. That was almost more entertaining than the rest of the story, especially seeing someone actually learn martial arts from Kung Fu movies.
The artwork uses an awesome blend of classic and modern. The careful linework mixed with the bright, chrome-like colors made this a sight to behold. One of the more shocking parts of the book is made all that more shocking by how unapologetic the writer and artists are…I could not look away from that page.
Verdict: Buy it.
If you’re afraid that a story about a super-genius sounds like it would fizzle out quickly, there’s no need to worry. The first book shows signs that the internal and external conflicts will only get crazier and more intense with each issue. We’re in for a wild ride.