This week, Comics You Should Be Reading checks out Marvel's noir miniseries, Mystery Men!
Comics You Should Be Reading features a rotating panel of Outhouse writers highlighting some of the best, under-heralded books out today.
Mystery Men is written by David Liss and illustrated by Patrick Zircher.
Synopsis of the book: Set in the 1930s, Mystery Men focuses on a team of operatives who slowly come together after the murder of The Operative's fiance. Hot on the trail, and hunted by cops, the characters are forced to work together to solve the case.
Each issue focuses on a different character. So far, we've met the Operative, a Robin Hood-esque character trying to make a difference during the Great Depression, and The Revenant, a theatre performer turned mysterious vigalante. The next issue will focus on The Aviatrix, a Rocketeer like character. Profiles of The Operative and the Revenant can be found here and here respectively. Check the Outhouse later today for a profile on The Aviatrix!
Reasons why it's awesome: This book is awesome simply for the way the art compliments the writing. While reading the story, you really do get a sense that the book takes place in the 1930's. While there are no characters from the modern Marvel universe, there are plenty of shout outs to it. Liss does a great job of introducing each character and making the reader truly care for what happens to them. Surprises and twists and turns have been packed into the last two issues.
In addition, Patrick Zircher is doing the work of his career. Each character's design is distinct and something one could easily see used in a fictional 1930s setting.
If you like _________, then you'll like this book: The obvious comparison is to The Twelve, though it's not exactly the same type of book, Readers of The Rocketeer Adventures, the Shadow, the Phantom, or Marvel's recent Noir line will all enjoy Mystery Men. Fans of David Liss's Black Panther: Man Without Fear will probably enjoy this book as well, as it's impossible NOT to enjoy Liss's writing. As a reader who mainly reads the "classic" superhero books, this book is a great superhero book as well.
Best pick-up point: Only two issues in, the best pick up point is issue 1. Both issues came out in June, so they should be readily available at your local LCS. If your LCS can't find it, check out here to buy it online!
Written or Contributed by: Erik Galston