I’d say, “Oh ye of little faith” but I guess the phrase to lead off this review should really be, “Oh me of little faith.” I’ll admit it, I was worried when I heard that Peter Snejbjerg was leaving “The Mighty” after #4, because his art on this series has been the best work of his career. But you know what? Chris Samnee (whose art on “Capote in Kansas” and “Queen & Country” was great) is working out just fine here.
Samnee’s art lacks a little bit of the smooth line that Snejbjerg brought to the characters, but the slightly more defined, just a hint of angular look that “The Mighty” now has is actually a good change for the book. With the story having taken a slightly more grim turn, it means that the art is slightly less idealistic and more realistic, just as the characters are beginning to show their own darker sides.
Don’t get me wrong, though, Samnee’s art is a close match to Snejbjerg’s character designs for “The Mighty.” He’s still able to bring that nice round head to Cole, for instance, and Alpha One is still that larger-than-life, all-man slab of flesh that floats perfectly through the air. He hits the subtle nuances of the story, too, with that trickle of sweat moving down Cole’s forehead as he tries to hide his motivations from Alpha One, or the rage on Alpha’s face as captured in the videotape. Samnee’s an excellent choice to follow up on Snejbjerg’s work here, and I hope sticks around for some time to come.
As for the story itself, Peter J. Tomasi and Keith Champagne are doing an excellent job. The idea itself, with a Superman-analog who might not be as squeaky clean as the world thinks, is certainly a familiar one. Tomasi and Champagne make it work, though, in part because of how they’ve paced the story out beat by beat, and partially because of what a great pair of characters Cole and Alpha One are. Both of them come across as intriguing, interesting leads, and now that the friction is developing between them it’s become fascinating to watch their careful dance around one another. It’s hard to keep from fearing for Cole’s safety (as well as Janet’s), and the tension is building so well that it makes me a little antsy to wait for the next issue.
“The Mighty” is a thoroughly enjoyable book that, I suspect, no one but critics are reading. The thing is, it’s easily one of the top ten books DC Comics is publishing right now. Please, please, please, pick up an issue and try it out. I really want to see it continue and become a bonafide hit. It’s strong and good enough to be one. You’ll love it, I promise.