Mark Millar’s new comic book series, MPH, introduced us to a fictional drug that enables regular people to sprint at supersonic speeds, set against the sobering–and unfortunately non-fictional–backdrop of modern-day Detroit. Book one set the stage, and in MPH #2 (Image Comics, $2.99), he really kicks things into high gear (you didn’t think I’d do an entire preview about a comic called “MPH” without dropping a terrible speed-related pun, did you?)
MPH #1 reminds us that the economic downturn hit Detroit harder than virtually anywhere else: the crime rate has risen, much of the landscape lies in ruins, and gangs operate without any interference from law enforcement. To put it mildly, the Motor City has seen better days. Despite the dismal realities he faces each day, perpetually optimistic Roscoe remains buoyant. He thinks – no, he knows – that with positive thinking and hard work he’ll soon be basking in the warm California sunshine with cash to burn, far from the town that America forgot.
Early in the issue his dreams are dashed when an undercover cop lands him in prison, and as his situation worsens during his stint behind bars, Roscoe’s bright future begins to look increasingly dim.
When issue #1 wrapped (spoiler alert) Roscoe had obtained the titular MPH pills, soon after discovering exactly who had set him up and landed him in the slammer. The second installment picks up moments after his escape, and revenge is the first item on his agenda – though it’s not his last. Throughout the issue we begin to see Roscoe’s grand scheme unfold, this time with the aid of preternatural powers. By the end we begin to see the mysteries of the MPH drug slowly unfold, along with a few more interesting twists that will no doubt have huge ramifications as the series progresses.
Even more intriguing: there are three variant covers for MPH #2, including a pair by Leinil Yu (Superior) which can be placed side by side to form a single image: the first ever illustrated collage of the previously teased “Millarworld Universe,” which is set to begin coalescing throughout 2014, and continue into next year.
Could we see members of The Secret Service tasked with travelling across the pond to apprehend supernatural being like Superior, or one of the modern-day heroes from Jupiter’s Legacy? Or could we see Hit-Girl throw down with possibly the only human on Earth who could match her ruthless bad-assery, Nemesis? The possibilities are endless, but we’ll have to wait a spell until we get some real answers to these theoretical (and somewhat insane) questions I just posed.
In the meantime, enjoy the covers and six-page previews below!
All images courtesy of Mark Millar. MPH #2 is available tomorrow in comic shops everywhere.
Blake Northcott is an author, Twitter-er, and occasional Slayer of Vampires (only the ones that sparkle).You can follow her on Twitter, or pick up her best-selling Sci-Fi/Superhero book Arena Mode over at Amazon.com.