Mosaic #1 in an intriguing and well paced debut issue that manages the rare feat of introducing a new character to it’s pre-established comics universe without leaning on anything besides it’s own quality. It’s clunky in parts but overall successful in it’s singular style.
Mosaic is a comic about a star pro-basketball player who get’s superpowers from the terrigen mist which he use’s to transport his consciousness into others and control their actions. Newcomer writer Geoffrey Thorne’s biggest stumbles come in the books opening, where his portrayal of an ungrateful and vapid superstar athlete is at best, pretty heavy handed and sloppily telegraphed from exposition while at worst, a pretty unfair portrayal of NBA stars based on a line of conventional wisdom that is racially coded towards black athletes in general of being selfish and only caring about their own accolades. Thankfully, the book get’s past all that fairly quickly once the protagonist powers are introduced and we begin seeing Mosaic interact with the world at large through the people he inhabits. Mosaic shifts into an engaging crime story with a pretty brutal and unexpected conclusion that opens up the comics potential for the character and his superpowers while still staying true to the books street level setting. Artist Khary Randolph’s line style has always had a cartoonish manga quality to it but his work here feel’s more fluid and smooth from some of the more jagged lines that permeate his most prior work. The figure design is less angular while the fluidity of his movement is exciting and visceral. His line work feel’s cleaner here then it has in the past while colorist Emilo Lopez feel’s as if he’s adding depth to the illustrations while using a wide ranging pallete to reflect it’s ecletic New York City setting.
There’s some natural skepticism that comes with Mosaic; it’s yet another Inhuman book nobody asked for, with a character that nobody heard of from a writer that nobody has ever read a comic from. But Mosaic works by almost every measure. It’s not quite as good as some of Marvel’s best new debut’s in 2016 like Black Panther or Nighthawk; but it’s a solid start with a strong hook that will leave readers impressed and wanting more.