COMIC REVIEW: Ordinary #3

When we left our protagonist, Michael Fisher, in issue #2 of Ordinary, he was about to be eaten by the creature from a Pink Floyd video. You see, Michael lives in a world where everyone has suddenly found themselves with a super-power. Everyone except Michael. He thinks he’s the world’s biggest loser and to him, this fact proves it. He’s been trying to find his way home and is on a mission to find his son.

As Michael’s life is in danger, half his son appears to save his life – half as in he appears half invisible. The creature-teacher backs off and explains it’s just protecting the school. A journalist with a camera for a head appears and offers to tell Michael’s story in exchange for helping him find his estranged wife and reunite her with their son. And so the journey continues and we meet more interesting characters along the way, including a squawking bird-like Larry King. Meanwhile, in Washington DC the scientists and government become aware of Michael’s existence. The scientist wants to save him; the hawkish politician surrounded by literal angels and demons, wants something different.

Writer Rob Williams (The Royals: Masters of War, Revolutionary War, Trifecta) and artist D’Israeli (Scarlet Trace, War of the Worlds) continue with their gleeful comic book but add an increasing depth and pathos, complimenting the mad fun of all these characters with their interesting powers, expressing their personalities. As with the opening two issues, the tone is set early on with witty dialogue and bold colours and character design. The characters, such as Michael’s son – Josh – and the journalist, are represented by very obvious super-traits. The journalist has a camera for a head. Josh is part invisible as he feel’s ignored by his Dad. These one-dimensional super-powers are the main criticism of the story-telling, but then this is a bonkers book full of ideas and not a Shakespearean treatise on human personality. However, Michael’s ‘loser-ness’ is also a tad heavy-handed. His look and design is a bit obvious too. But I’m nit-picking. The climax brings about some proper emotion, with a bit of toll and some genuinely surprisingly humanity as the cost of the climax weighs heavy.

D’Israeli’s art is much more moody than issue #2. There are less dazzling colours, and more tonal pages – coloured themes across multiple panels. Perhaps the lack of garish artwork reflects the gravitas that builds with the issue. In fact, heading towards the end of the book, the colouring is minimal as the storyline packs its emotional wallop.

What is great about Ordinary is that you think you’re picking up something that is frivolous with blinding colours and humorous characters. What you get is that of course, but more. Satire of American politics. Depth of human emotion. A genuine surprise. The story does start to grip you, while keeping its sense of fun and joie de vive. More please.

Check out the Collection Trailer here:

Title: Ordinary #3

Publisher: Titan Comics

Rating: 4/5

Reviewer: Ian J Simpson

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