This article will contain some light spoilers from Mosaic Issue #1
Marvel’s latest and greatest black hero has hit comic book stands, and his title goes by the name of Mosaic! Written by Geoffrey Thorne with art by Khary Randolph, when this comic was announced back in June I was ecstatic! Now that I have the pleasure of holding it in my hands and flipping through the pages, I can’t say that I’m disappointed. Seeing black writers, and black artists collaborate to bring to life new black characters that hold their own titles in the Marvel Universe... it's like a dream to me! The thing is, while we want diverse books with a diverse creative team, the story and the characters have to be good. Well let me tell you now, representation aside, this concept is incredibly compelling!
We see the issue open up with an intense game of basketball. Based on the quality of the stadium and the number of those in attendance, I can only assume that this is professional league or Marvel’s equivalent of the NBA. We find that our main character, Morris Sackett (nicknamed “Moss”) is an MVP ball player of "The Stride" who seemingly took the average team to the top, on his skill alone. At the same token, he is very business minded, and might be a tad bit conceited, as is his girlfriend Tia, or “T-Fleek”.
The after party is happening, and just as drunken, disgruntled team mates are approaching Morris to confront him on his “King” status (on the court), a Terrigen Mist descends on the balcony they are standing on. Everyone scatters. Everyone except Morris, who seems unable to, seeing as he is almost instantly trapped in a cocoon, in which he will undergo a process called terrigenesis and emerge reborn, as an inhuman.
Given his affluent life, while in stasis he is being monitored by the best doctors and technology the world can offer, complete with Stark Tech and Parker Industries Support. Needless to say, he emerges from the cocoon, and when he does he is a dark skinned, entity with an azure glow peeking through the cracks and creases of his body. Mortified, Tia shoves him out of the window, which happens to be several stories above ground and he falls, right on top of a high school kid, named Fife, but instead of crushing him, he seems to… assimilate with him, sharing his thoughts and identity. We get a beautiful splash page depicting just what it is Moss is seeing after the collision. Furthermore, when an older man reaches out to see if the kid needs help, Morris seems to leave the kid, and bond with him!
Okay, I’m going to stop there because I’m going to end up telling the whole story. This issue is robust. As far as intros go, we are talking thick with story that doesn’t linger or feel like “filler”. Also, can we talk about this art? Can we talk about the fact that I’ve never actually seen waves drawn into a brothas hair before? The small details are what count. This is what makes the book feel real. Combining the story with expressive line art, and vibrant colors from Emilio Lopez, I’m in love with this creative team.
I’m excited to have a story featuring multiple characters of color without their race being a defining factor in their origin. It is beautiful. I listed this book. You need to list it too. I repeat, if you like this book (and I'm sure you will because it's packed with deft narrative talent), GO TO YOUR SHOP AND BUY THIS COMIC. WHEN YOU BUY THIS COMIC, MAKE SURE YOU LIST IT. Support diverse creative teams with good content. This is the only way diversity will evolve from tokenism to the norm. Geoffrey and Khary, thank you for your work.