Mark Millar and Duncan Fegredo’s “MPH” is a mini-series that has felt a little more predictable with each new issue, and that trend continues into “MPH” #4. Is it still worth reading, though? Absolutely. There’s a certain charm to this comic about pill-popping super-fast crooks that makes it imminently enjoyable.
“MPH” #4 takes the foundation of the previous issues and adds the next logical piece to the puzzle. With Baseball now out of the picture, all of the nods towards him being the only one holding the other three together are made concrete, as Roscoe, Chevy and Rosa break down. The obvious lies from Chevy earlier in the mini-series are finally confirmed, and the irritation towards the Robin Hood tendencies of some of the members of the group becomes a large sticking point.
So why read this if you’ve seen it all coming? There’s that earlier mentioned charm. Rosa and Roscoe clearly mean well, even if they’ve been swept into the illicit lure of millions of dollars in the blink of an eye. Watching Rosa’s resolve crumble with her brother vanishing works well, and the glee on her face as she and Roscoe start giving more and more away is hard to shake. It’s infectious, similar to how the hook of the MPH pills in the first place was difficult to walk away from.
Along those lines, I love Fegredo’s art. Part of it is the depiction of super-speed, with Chevy appearing all over a single panel as he’s able to be everywhere at once. Even better, though, is something that seems simple but at the same time is incredibly rare for this sort of book. Namely, the way the characters dress. Speedsters almost always have tight, form-fitting clothes. (The better to fight wind resistance, right?) There’s something about the loose, baggy, flopping clothing that our speedsters have here that make them feel that much more real; these are the people down the street, not someone larger than life. Fegredo draws everyone in “MPH” #4 as a member of our world, not one where superpowers are the norm. Even little touches like the bunting above the bar where Chevy is drinking, or the slightly off-kilter picnic table umbrellas at the cafe help bring that idea home. Fegredo’s put a lot of care into these pages, and it shows.
“MPH” #4 is a fun comic; sure, you see it all coming, but with this level of enjoyment, who cares? Millar and Fegredo’s characters might move in the blink of an eye, but this is a comic that you can settle down with, read slowly and enjoy.