Have you had one of those days where can’t decide which graphic novel you would rather review because both of the graphic novels are just so friggin awesome? Me too! Ladies and gentlemen I introduce to you “Graphic Novel Double Dose #1.”

Before I review the graphic novels I would like to tell you a little bit about their author, as I will do with future Double Doses. Both books are written by renowned writer Mark Millar, the man who tore The Marvel Universe in half with Civil War. He showed us what it would look like if the bad guys won with Wanted. He also made us laugh and cringe with Kick-Ass, the story of Dave Lizewski’s journey to become a superhero, and he continues to show his storytelling chops with every graphic novel he writes. So without further ado, I would like to tell you about two graphic novels that have solidified, in my opinion, his status as a comic book legend. Those graphic novels are the grandiose action-fest Nemesis, and the heartwarmingly heroic Superior.

Nemesis is about a man who after losing his parents as a child, is driven by vengeance to use his resources and skills to cause havoc, take down famous police commissioners, and become the world’s greatest supervillain. In his spare time he travels the world looking for commissioners to torment and kill. He’s also committed deeds such as destroy Air-Force One and poison everybody in the Pentagon. His most recent choice for competitor is Washington D.C. police commissioner Blake Morrow, the man who will be Nemesis’s most challenging opponent yet.

Nemesis is one of the best comic book villains to appear in the last five years. He is also one of the most stylish with his awesome costume and equally awesome vehicles. He’s one of those villains you love to root for and also one of those villains that you love to hate. He is the Joker/Batman hybrid done right. His antagonist Blake Morrow is also a very well written character. Nemesis never really expected him to be that much of a problem, but nevertheless he enjoyed taking him on.

The artwork by Steve McNiven is very bright and gritty. Everything pops, especially the action scenes. In fact, the action scenes in Nemesis are some of the best drawn action scenes I have laid my eyes upon. Whenever Nemesis is in a scene he always stands out. All the more reason for us to focus on this story’s primary “prantagonist” (which is the word I’ll use from now on whenever the main character is a villain).

Superior is about 12-year-old Simon Pooni and his wish to become something greater. You see, Simon was a happy kid living a normal and happy life. That is, until one day he discovered he had multiple sclerosis. Over time he lost the ability to walk, one of his eyes quit working, and started having trouble speaking. He wanted nothing more than for his multiple sclerosis to go away, and would wish for this every night–little did he know that his wish would be granted, by a space monkey named Ormon. After getting granted his one wish, Simon uses it to become his favorite superhero Superior. As Superior, Simon used his powers to help the world by saving people in need, stopping natural disasters and help out whoever he can. There is one catch to Simon’s wish though. Simon can only be Superior for one week, and at the end of that week Ormon says that everything will be explained.

Superior is one of the coolest graphic novels I have read in a while, it’s Superman/Shazam in the best way possible. Simon Spooni is a very well written character in the way that you can’t help but root for the guy from beginning to end. He’s also a very relatable character in the way that we all have faced adversity, where if only we all could change our bad situations by becoming superheroes. We can relate to Simon Spooni in how we’ve all been young and angry before. There is something about childhood anger that really sticks with a person.    

Superior’s art work, done by Leinil Yu, is similar to the artwork of Nemesis. Whereas Nemesis is bright and pulpy, Superior is bright, epic, and really reflects the grand scale of its story. Superior’s costume is also very fresh and new, while retaining some of the things that made Superman’s or Shazam’s suits memorable too. Ormon’s appearance and costume is also unique purely because he is a capuchin monkey wearing a spacesuit. Who can go wrong with a monkey wearing a spacesuit?

In closing I would like to say again that these two graphic novels are ones that you should read immediately. They’re two prime examples of why Mark Millar rocks and why comic books are awesome in the first place. They are the types of books that help comic books tread new grounds and make more leaps to the future. They are also great because they’re just so much fun to read, and I know you will think so too.




You can check out more comic book reviews by Julian on his tumblr page here.

Pictures via Comicvine,

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