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Edison Crane Meets His Moriarty in Prodigy: The Icarus Society

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Prodigy Icarus Society 1

Mark Millar is the living object lesson about throwing things against the wall and seeing what ultimately sticks. The differentiating factor here is that Millar seems to have an inexhaustible supply of ammunition and a target wall with uncanny adhesive properties.

Prodigy: The Icarus Society sees the return of Edison Crane, a man who processes information at an almost quantum level. The information flooding his brain would concievably drive someone insane, but no doubt Crane takes weekly therapy appointments with one of his subconscious selves to ensure he works out any and all psychological issues. Because he needs constant stimulation, the billionaire inventor, daredevil, and mystery solver routinely seeks out challenges to overcome -- and sets them up for himself if the world won't oblige.

But now the smartest man in the room is no longer a solo act. Enter Dr. Lucius Tong, another with the patience, planning, and preternatural intelligence to rival Crane's -- only he's on the amoral side of Crane's altruistic ethics. When we first meet Dr. Tong, he is being taken to prison after drawing in Crane to a hostage scene and handcuffing himself before surrendering. It's a foreboding scene that communicates Tong's cold intellect clearly to the reader. But if Al Jolson were writing the review on this issue, he'd no doubt look toward you now and say, "You ain't heard nothing yet."

But to tell you more of just how chilling is the mind of Tong would be to spoil the rest of this book, which is interspliced with scenes of Crane continuing to provide challenges for himself, such as racing cheetahs and writing fully-informed novels in his head that he will never publish

Prodigy: The Icarus Society is all the eye-popping, jaw-dropping, mind-agog-a-gogo brilliance that you find in some of the better known comic titles Millar has produced. Matteo Buffagni's artwork is a departure from the style Rafael Albuquerque brought to the first volume, a step toward more traditional comic book realism  In a way, that takes makes the new arc a bit less believable than the first, where Albuquerque's more cartoonish style reminded you that this was a world where it was okay to be over-the-top and outlandish. Did I say "less beliefable?" No, that's not quite right as it sounds like I'm detracting from Buffagni's contribution. Less comfortable would be more likely. More frightening, more spine-tingling. More relateable -- which makes it all the more terrifying.

If you enjoy stories about the super-intellectual along the lines of Sherlock and Tom Swift, you don't want to miss this. And if you missed the first story arc, be sure to grab up the collected edition.

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0