I'm not a huge comic book fan, but there are a few titles I enjoy. I've been a Transformers fan since pretty much day one, and I'm still collecting IDW's current run, though only in TPB form. I've hugely enjoyed Power Girl's most recent solo series, and was greatly upset to learn that she's not a continuing force in the New 52 universe. And then there's manga, like Fullmetal Alchemist and 20th Century Boys and Mardock Scramble. But I must admit, as far as actual, single-issue comic books go? Well, it's been a while indeed since I picked any of them up from the racks of my local comic shop.
But I was in there the other day, doing a bit of post-Christmas shopping with the lovely Madam Meagan, and a rather striking cover caught my eye. And so, for the first time in I-can't-recall-when, I bought myself a few comic books.
Seriously, what's not to love here?
The big draw? Robotman. I read some of the really old Doom Patrol run, and some of Alan Moore's fantastically deranged series, and Robotman was always the most compelling character. He's a classic, of course; a man given phenomenal power, but at the cost of his humanity. So when I flipped through the first issue of My Greatest Adventure and found out that Cliff Steele is now, not just Robotman, but Robotman, PI (Of Weirdness)? Well, hell, you couldn't sell that to me any better if you tried. And I'm pleased to say that the comics, rather than just coast on that idea, which let's face it is good idea enough for at least a few year's run, managed to add in another delightful storytelling wrinkle. You see, the nanites that make up Cliff Steele's body? They've got Asimov's Three Laws programmed into them. Which is all well and good in terms of making sure they obey Cliff, but directly and subconsciously (and Cliff's mind is the only human they can 'hear'), but they recognise non-Cliff people as being human, too. Imagine being a superhero whose bones and muscles literally will not allow you to harm a human being. Luckilly, at least, he doesn't seem to have the 'or through inaction allow humans to come to harm' commandment, but still. It's kind of a serious restraint, and forces Cliff to be pretty inventive in how he resolves any kind of human-level situation. Giant robot snakes? No problem. A couple dozen brain-controlled people at a diner? Potentially deadly threat.
It's a really interesting inversion.
Leads to a lot of this sort of thing, obviously.
The other two stories in the anthology are good, too. Garbageman's story is likewise pretty classic; a white-collar worker runs afoul of his employers, who are doing things Man Was Not Meant To, and when he Learns Too Much they try to silence him, inadvertently turning him into a hero in the process. The appearance of Batman is well handled, the Dark Knight managing to put in a solid appearance without stealing the show, but the real draw is going to be the dinosaurs in the sewers of Gotham, I suspect. As for Tanga, she seems to be set to give Robotman a run for the title of 'most interesting story'. A superpowered alien trying to save the meek and downtrodden, Tanga is pleasantly snarky without being Deadpool-esque, and has the benefit of the most interesting world of the three, an alien land where monsters appear out of portals, a giant head runs the government and an opposing superhero with serious narcissistic tendencies threatens to bring the whole thing down for reasons clear only to his own, entitled self. Add in a long-suffereing tentacle monster and a very pleasant and possibly-mad scientist, and the Tanga storyline has quite a definite draw.
Not that sort of draw. Mind out of the gutter, you!
Not quite as strong a draw as Robotman, PI, of course. But a draw, nonetheless.
Sadly, it seems that My Greatest Adventure is only to be a 6-issue miniseries. But what the heck, I just spent years collecting the entirety of Fullmetal Alchemist, maybe a quick six-month commitment is more my speed.