What if you were an alien stranded on a primitive world, hated and feared by civilizations that,quite simply,suck? Would you fight for their safety, and admiration? Probably not, and neither does Noh-var. Put simply,the first chapter in the Marvel Boy trilogy (if it indeed is still that) seems to be Grant Morrison channeling the imaginations of Jack Kirby and Satan simultaniously, and writing the images he recieves down as words.
As fast-paced, and hallucinogenic as he felt like making it. Morrison crafts what couldn't be deemed a dense tale of charactor driven pathos, however it does out-do The Authority for people with personalities( after all, how many issues of people sitting around for three issues only to hit the world conquering threat of the month into submission- without development of characters can you handle?) the development of the characters takes a passanger-side seat to the plot, with neither truly dominating the other... although the plot does speak with a louder,shinier voice at times. Marvel Boy doesn't really break any new ground, until it's too late, and you realize just what is really going on. That's all i'll say about the story, not that what happens is a major suprise, it's just that I hate thinking i'll ruin someone's fun.
Art-wise, J.G. Jones is definetly hitting strides. The art is a perfect compliment to the story, picking up just enough of certain Kirby-isms without being anything other than an homage, even though Jones' art looks nothing like Kirby's. Weird I know, and when you look at the art you might think i'm crazy, but... Just study the overall flow of the story, and it might come to you. The art brings an unparalleled sense of design to the characters that just plain makes sense. Everything about Marvel Boy clicks in what can only be called "Planned coincedense." Everything looks like its two different styles of comics coming together at a random angle, but it feels like the only thing that makes sense. Noh-varr designed by Joe Maduer...y'know Battle chaser's guy wouldn't FEEL right. As a matter of fact, there are only a handful of artists I feel could have pulled off realism in a world created by a sociopathic God.
Believe me, Marvel Boy is more than "Pop comics", or an experiment of what would Stan Lee do if he were inspired by drugs, but it also isn't. When deconstructur-ism seems to be the leading trend in super-hero comics that mean something, Marvel Boy is just the opposite. Flashy costumes and superpowers for the sake of Flashy costumes and explosions, with out being dubbed "Wide-screen" Comics, which those simpering skin-cells at Wizard(shudder) seem to apply to anything these days.
Don't get me wrong, i'm not giving Marvel Boy hand love for the sake of hand love, a little more time could have been spent on developing Noh-varr and Oubliette, and just why their particular brand of neo-relationship works,(which i'm capable of ignoring: If people can form bonds over chat rooms...). My only major gripe with Marvel Boy comes with tha fact that it is indeed edited. The sting of non-anarchist chaotic rhetoric seems to loses it's edge when edited. Oh the irony of the Comics Code.
A comic about someone changing the government, filtered by the government... if you catch my admitedly vague statements. Hopefully, Marvel Boy2 (which Morrison claims to be already writing) will be released through the less restrictive guise of the Marvel Max imprint. One can only hope. So at least read a friend's copy of Marvel Boy, if for nothing else but to see a "Superhero" eating trash for strength.