Mosaic is a character I’m aware of, but really never dabbled in for the brief time his comic was on the shelf. The design is certainly cool and his character–an ex basketball MVP–is unique too. With the second TPB out this week from Marvel I decided to give him a look-see.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

Witness the incredible first meeting between the body-jumping new hero known as Mosaic and his people…the Inhumans! With their aid, the super-powered sensation will delve deeper into his incredible abilities, and unlock hidden truths about himself. But the villainous Brand Corporation has set their sights on Mosaic, and they’re not done with him yet! What will their next gambit against Mosaic be – and will he see it coming in time? The soul-searching saga of Mosaic continues!

Why does this matter?

Mosaic is the newest Inhuman to join the Marvel ranks and not only is he trying to navigate his way into the superhero world but he has quite a cool power. A power he really doesn’t want. It’s a relatable character since most of us would probably react the way he does in this book.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?


I hope Beast and Human Torch never change.

This volume collects Mosaic #6 through #8, material from the Mosaic Prelude and finally his first appearance from Uncanny Inhumans #11. What you get is essentially Mosaic’s brief introduction to the Inhumans culture, his first real solo heroic villain takedown, and some materials that weave into those stories. Issues #6 through #8 capture Mosaic’s conflicted emotions of being a hero at all as well as the idea of gaining a new identity now that he’s an Inhuman. Geoffrey Thorne writes most of the content in this book and he captures the voice of Mosaic well. He speaks like an average person would and his emotions come with that too. Thorne makes a strong case that this character could and probably should be a player in the future of Marvel Comics, though that remains to be seen.

The powers of the character are quite something and Thorne utilizes them well. In Mosaic’s first interaction with Lockjaw for instance, we get to see how he inhabits the body of others and this sharing goes both ways. Only thing is, inhabiting a dog is some tricky business. Essentially Mosaic can share memories with others and thus gain advantages. We see that power used for a covert operations mission in Uncanny Inhumans where Charles Soule briefly uses the character (most likely to allow the characterization to flourish in his own book). He can also fly and he’s basically invisible.

The art by Bruno Oliveira and Khary Randolph gives the book a dark and gritty look that you’d expect from a street level hero. In one of my favorite pages of the volume (see above), we see a repeated angle of Beast waxing on Mosaic’s amazing abilities with the Human Torch getting closer and closer to Beast as the panels progress. The facial expressions on Human Torch are quite funny and the effect works to not only convey Beast being enamored, but also Mosaic’s flirting with a girl in the room. There’s also an action packed fight scene with the X-Men and the general glow of Mosaic looks pretty cool. Randolph draws a mean Diablo too.


Diablo is a crazy badass.

It can’t be perfect can it?

This book is short, but also a bit all over the place in how it’s organized. Mosaic #6 through #8 takes up the first chunk, and then Uncanny Inhumans pops in (which takes place between the previous issues) as well as the prelude before that. It’s a tad unclear when things are happening until Stark tower blows up and you realize that already happened 50 pages earlier. Most likely this is a series that was canceled abruptly and these additional stories were inserted to pad out the page count, but it’s jarring nonetheless. To make matters worse, there are cliffhangers in this issue that are clearly told elsewhere, which is certainly annoying.

The narrative itself can be jarring too and it’s as if the plotting was rushed after pages were already completed. Take for instance the X-Men battle: The issue starts with Mosaic being studied and getting his bearings as an Inhuman, then the X-Men barge in, and then smash cut to Mosaic chatting with his brother. All in one issue. It’s strange plotting that throws you for a loop.

Is It Good?

Mosaic is a rather cool character that many will be able to relate to. Unfortunately, this last volume has some jarring plotting that pulls you out of the story as well as additional materials that are out of order. There’s one adventure pitting Mosaic against Diablo that shows this character can be interesting and fun if allowed to be, but it’s clear cancelling the title created a mess for the creators.

Mosaic Vol. 2: Down Below
Is it good?
This TPB has its moments, but as a whole the narrative is jarring and the additional materials out of order don't help.
The Diablo story is worth a look
Mosaic in general is a cool character that just needs more comics to tell his story
Good art throughout with a clean style and a rougher street level style
Additional comics like Uncanny Inhumans and the Mosaic Prelude are slapped on at the end and thus out of order
Some jarring plotting before the Diablo story
The story feels unfinished either because cliffhangers finish in other series or because this character needs more time on the page!
5
Average