With Great Promise #Prodigy Arrives! A #SpoilerFree #Bo0gieReview of Netflix’s (nix Millarworld) Brand new Imprint
Edison Crane: Four syllables in a name that will become synonymous with not just greatness, but pop culture greatness, which for all intents and purposes is modern day immortality! I have already written a preview of this book where I extol the virtues of a brand new, African American superhero. I touch on the socio-political relevance of this character being the smartest person in the world. And let’s face it since Obama left office, there aren’t many people of colour to look to for that all important charismatic, nero machismo (#NoShade Neil deGrasse Tyson). Well Mr Millar, as ever with his finger on both the pulse of society and the art good writing presents us with, what he considers, his greatest creation to date! Let’s see just how great Prodigy is...
Appetites were already whetted a few weeks back with the release of six preview pages, and my brown nosing (and fanboy adulation; I can’t help it), secured me, and a select cadre of individuals a preview (low res) digital copy of Prodigy no.1. Whilst this enabled us to get the the skinny on Prodigy, it also ensured that we still had to cop the book when it drops today, if only to appreciate the effervescent imagery laden throughout, of one Raphael Albuquerque!
So What Of It?! C’mon Tell Me!
We open to a brief history of Edison’s childhood that, in no uncertain terms, establishes his genius in spectacular fashion. There are a few tropes you’d expect to find of any child braniac from Thanos to Lobo, however there’s one particularly bloody splash scene that clearly let’s you, the reader, know that this ain’t the run-of-the-mill genius behaviour we’re witnessing! Especially entertaining is his knowledge of the original Kung-Fu movie masters; inclusive of Chia Hui Lu - a personage, if not name, ardent Tarantino fans would be familiar with. He learned spectacular martial arts techniques; binge watching chop-socky films over a weekend. A talent many young men, of a certain generation, believed they possessed, be they genius or not 🤭 Needless to say, Edison masters the art of fighting without fighting and come Monday morning, handles the particular thorns in his side and leaves the educational establishment without so much as batting an eyelid.
The book continues in this fashion, chronicling his exploits leading up to present day, where it pivots and changes tact. The quite frankly, heroic feats he accomplishes over the following pages are not achieved over a series of years, months or even days. Everything that happens next takes place in one day!
Edison’s playing six separate chess masters whilst simultaneously solving a complex astrophysical equation - which is happens to be, how to stop the world from immanent extinction from an asteroid, 50 miles in diameter, heading straight to Earth!
Amidst all of this frenetic activity, he entertains and executes ideas for death-defying stunts from school-age children, completes the task and is immediately off to solve a potentially world shattering event occuring in Australia (of all places)! Let me tell you, the crises that blights the Australian populace is something to witness. Never before have I encountered such a surreal happening. I had to read and re-read what I just saw. It wasn’t until the latter panels confirmed that yes; what I thought I’d witnessed happening, really did happen. Did Edison Crane blink, when the quandary was placed in front of him? Aww hell naw! He just went ahead and posited a far more likley, albeit ‘impossible’, rationale for the problem befalling Australia.
Haven’t I Seen Him Before, Somewhere..?
...indeed, one would question his apparent familiarity, particularly if you read comics avidly. I wouldn’t be honest, if I didn’t say, that there were elements of T’Challa, (Black Panther) Mr Terrific (The Terrifics), Prodigy (X-Men) and even Karnak (Inhumans) about him. However; I’ll acquiesce that similarity is more down to the aloofness that intelligence seems to breed in those blessed with the abundance of it. There are even elements of Reed Richards about him in the way that Edison seems to relish in his accomplishments. Nonetheless, even in these few pages, his Achiles heel is unconcealed through his wry grin on the last panel. His curiosity is what drives him; is what makes him and I predict; is what can be used to lure him into who knows what..?
Edison Crane stands atop his glass spire looking out over his kingdom wondering just where his next challenge will come from. Standing with his chest aloft, akin to a bird of paradise; a manner that befits a man of his achievements, in that one day, let alone his lifetime. He wonders, where to next, before his next challenge befalls him.
There’s an element of the writing which makes me feel as though this is a mini-series. So much has been packed into ish 1 and whilst each segue about Edison's past could easily be expanded upon in latter issues; the speed at which we jump into his first major adventure, with a key element of the problem solved makes me slightly trepidatious as to what the follow-up issues will hold. But, hey I’m being super picky here! I’ve followed stories with far less quality and appeal simply because I’ve bought into the character, or the narrative, (or both). I’m strapped in for the long haul on this one. I want to see where Mr Crane is going and how the eponymous Mr Millar will take us there. And you know what, I want to be able to look into the eyes of my grandchildren and say "I was there..."