Elemental Micah

Stories about young men trying to come to terms with new found super powers are not a unique concept in comic books. However to suggest that Elemental Micah by Michael Georgiou is anything but unique would be doing it a disservice. Almost everything about this book makes it feel unlike anything I’ve read previously in the genre, such is the depth of character given to the titular hero, the cast around him, and the particular circumstances he finds himself in.

We first meet Micah in issue one in a scene that sets character and story so perfectly that even now, a month or so after first reading, I still find myself smiling at the thought of. He is VERY human and has a character possibly familiar to more than a few of us, that of a seventeen year old boy (man?) trying to discover who he is both in a spiritual and sexual sense. It’s a confusing time.

Issue one see’s him prepare for his last day at a dead end job in a supermarket (this is the point that grabbed me as a reader, I strongly indentified having been in a similar dead end job myself) and gearing up the courage to ask the object of his desires out for a date. More by luck than design he ends up out with the man of his dreams, for an evening that will culminate in both an awakening of his sex life and just as importantly his superpowers.

Micah can, as the title may lead you to believe manipulate elements. Through the 4 issues that I’ve read (issue 4 available soon) the arc of his powers developing create a satisfying and slow burning superhero tale, but this book has deeper themes running through it, and Micah’s cast of characters, with their human failings and weaknesses, creates a compelling ongoing narrative in the fine tradition of the British kitchen sink drama.

The writing too is compelling, and with tonal shifts that come at you faster than a speeding bullet. The story pitches from humour through whimsy, to gut churning violence and drama in the blink of an eye. For the majority of the story this works perfectly and makes for a visceral and exciting read, and rarely lets you as a reader get too comfortable. Mike has a fine eye for plotting and dialogue and keeps every thing moving along briskly, even though the story itself feels fairly decompressed.

As a drawthor, Mike Georgiou takes on both writing and art duties, and when you talk to him (an audio interview is available elsewhere on this site) he’s quite self deprecating about his artistic efforts. True enough the art sharpens throughout the 4 issues, but to this reader it complements the story perfectly, and was satisfying. Too slick a style may have over polished what is actually quite a dark and gritty tale, just like real life it’s rough around the edges and gives the book life and movement.

It is very likely that this book won’t appeal to all tastes. It’s very brutal at times in its treatment of its characters and deals with tough subjects in a very adult and honest way. I though enjoyed it a great deal, and look forward to the continuation of the story immensely. If you like comic books that demand a little thought and ask questions of its reader, then this is the prefect book for you. It’s yet another example of the rich and exciting pool of creative talent in the UKsmall press and indie scene.