Written by Peter Milligan
Illustrated by Piotr Kowalski
Colored by Kelly Fitzpatrick
Lettered by Simon Bowland
Cover Art by Jae Lee
This week from Dynamite Comics comes TERMINAL HERO, a brand new ongoing series from writer Peter Milligan (X-Men, X-Force) and artist Piotr Kowalski (Marvel Knights Hulk).
Part One: No More Trouble starts off with a man who seems to be on the verge of spontaneously combusting, but not before three unidentified figures in hazmat suits step in and appear to put him out of his misery. The story then moves ahead five years as we are introduced to Rory Fletcher, who has just discovered that the tumor in his brain has grown and is inoperable. All hope seems lost, that is until his best friend Raz steps in and introduces Rory to Treatment Q, an experimental treatment for particular incurable tumors that was discontinued due to unpredictable and volatile side-effects. Treatment Q is named after Professor Matthew Quigley, who seems to have been discredited by a higher authority and reportedly dead after committing suicide. In all likelihood, it seems as if Quigley just may be the unknown man on fire at the beginning of our story.
Several weeks later after starting the treatment, doctors begin to notice a decrease in the size of Fletcher’s tumor, but the side effects begin to have a significant impact, as Fletcher begins to suffer horrific hallucinations. That is when Raz informs him about the possibility of psychokinesis, psychometry, and bilocation (which is the ability to be in two places simultaneously), and that’s where we begin to see events in Terminal Hero #1 that transcend what we perceive to be possible within the confines of the human mind. Rory finds solace in prostitutes and drugs, as they seem to help him control this new rage or perhaps this new person he has become. This sets the stage for a violent conclusion and a cliffhanger that will surely bring readers back for the next issue.
I know I keep going back to that first scene, but those first few panels actually set the tone for me as far as the artwork is concerned. Kowalski immediately captures our attention with this terrifying scene and continues to do so throughout the entire issue with his nightmarish images, backed up beautifully with the choice of colors from Fitzpatrick. As far as first issues are concerned, it is crucial that the writer grabs the audience with something that captures their interest, and Milligan excels here with quick character intros and a fast-moving story that quickly thrusts readers in to this bizarre world that is Terminal Hero. This issue just works for me and sort of reminded me of something we might see in an episode of the X-Files. With it we have a fascinating new character in Rory Fletcher, who with his newly discovered abilities, seems set to tap in to not just the undiscovered regions of the human mind, but also the darker more sinister side as well. A fantastic first chapter with incredible potential, Milligan and his creative team are off to an outstanding start.