The artist of Spider-Verse and Avengers: AI didn’t start with comics at Marvel, but had his own webcomic to show off his stuff. It was Man Plus that got him noticed! This led to the book being picked up and put into print and Titan Comics is releasing a “final cut” of the work this week. Is it good?
Man Plus #1 (Titan Comics)
This book opens in a Portuguese city in the year 2042. Corporations have taken over, built glorious cities, and effectively replaced governments. The world is tech heavy and reminiscent of Akira. That means some dicey stuff going on with human—and android—rights.
Why does this book matter?
Besides the fact that you get to see some of the artist’s best work, it’s also all about another science fiction world where robots and mankind live together. That’s pretty neat. This is primarily a cop drama as the police attempt to track down an android that was involved with getting some folks killed. You can also preview the book here if you’re not sold on it!
We open our story here.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Obviously the art is one of the main reasons this book is fabulous. It’s highly detailed, especially with the surroundings of these characters. The buildings are rendered with incredible detail, the buildings are jaw-droppingly futuristic and the costumes are highly detailed too. Ultimately it’s the detail André Lima Araújo puts into every panel that makes this worth every penny. You can linger on a single panel for minutes on end, soaking in the time and effort he put into them. There’s that much to see.
The story is rather straightforward with a bit of mystery sprinkled in. Araújo opens with a mysterious man waking from a nightmare which then cuts to a female looking android running for her life. It’s a classic case of an action scene forcing you to reevaluate your interpretation of the scene. Is this android good or bad, or maybe a bit of both? Araújo plays with these ideas as the android goes from scared victim to kicking ass and getting people killed. It’s not until the final page you realize this android has a very complicated psyche.
The cop team is also fun with the chief looking a lot like Linda Hunt from NCIS, two of the detectives wagering bets and an eclectic analysis team. Right off the bat, these characters clearly have complex backstories and involved relationships. That makes it easy to hop in and enjoy their company as we follow along their work and get to know them along the way.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Aside from the opening action sequence, much of this first issue is slow to build things up and doesn’t offer too many surprises. The characters are fresh, but there isn’t a lot for them to do beside discuss their current predicament.
An action packed opening scene.
Is It Good?
Come for the art, stay for the characters. This is how every android-focused science fiction thriller should look!