If you could become anyone, who would you be? That’s one of the underlying questions of Mosaic, Marvel’s newest ongoing series. Given the massive push that Marvel has given this book, it seems like the publisher already expects big things from its latest Inhuman hero. But does Mosaic live up to the hype?
The first thing to know going in is that Mosaic isn’t a hero…at least not yet. He’s actually a pretty huge jerk in his pre-transformation state. As envisioned by writer Geoffrey Thorne and artist Khary Randolph, Mosaic’s human self, Morris Sackett is one of the biggest basketball superstars in the Marvel Universe. Morris also has an ego to match his accomplishments on the court. It’s nothing new for Marvel heroes to be flawed out of the gate, but Morris’ arrogance was turned up to 11; which made it difficult to get behind him.
Without too many massive spoilers, the short version of Mosaic’s origin is that he literally loses everything that he had, including his body. There are even a few cameo appearances by other Marvel characters, but the spotlight is on Morris himself.
Randolph deserves a special shout out for making his pages so visually arresting. This is a very good looking comic, which is enhanced by Emilio Lopez’s colors. Even the basketball scenes at the beginning of the book have a surprisingly energetic vibe. If Marvel was ever inclined to do sports comics, that’s definitely the right approach. The second half of the issue let Randolph cut loose with even wilder visuals as Morris discovered some of his new abilities.
One of the more intriguing aspects of Morris’ powers is that he seems to take on some of the personality traits of the people whose bodies he inhabits. He loves who they love, and he knows what they know…so much so that he seems to be losing himself to the process. That’s a good dilemma to start with, but it left Morris without much of a personality of his own. Because Morris was so one-dimensional as a human, it’s difficult to really get a sense of who he really is. The people surrounding Morris were also lacking in meaningful character development. If they’re only one-shot characters, that’s fine. But if we’re expected to care about the people that Morris inadvertently left behind, then they need to be more human as well.
One major plus in Mosaic‘s favor is that it has extra pages of story, which went a long way towards making it a more satisfying read. Thorne and Randolph also displayed a few touches of visual humor which played well on the page. Whether Mosaic has what it takes become Marvel’s next big thing remains to be seen, but this is a solid start. This issue only scratched at the surface of what Morris can do, and we’re excited to see if he can live up to his potential.
RATING: 3.5 OUT OF 5 BURRITOS
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Images: Marvel Comics