The Comic: What if everyone woke up with superpowers – and it was the worst thing in the world?
When a strange plague gives every human being on the planet special powers, it’s seen as the next step in human evolution. But hope quickly turns to terror, as every war, terrorist attack, every crime, every simple street argument escalates a truly horrific point. The world is tearing itself apart – every trouble spot becomes a monstrous war zone and nuclear Armageddon looms. The plague must be cured if humankind is to survive.
The key lies in the blood of the only human being who didn’t get powers when the plague hit. A downtrodden, recently divorced New York plumber named Michael Fisher. The most ordinary man alive has suddenly become the most extraordinary person on Planet Earth.
The Review: Let’s be clear. While it’s tempting to describe Ordinary as a superhero comic, the creators are pretty insistent it’s more of an ‘apocalypse’ comic. “I think the ‘superhero; tag is a bit misleading to be honest,” says D’Israeli. “It’s actually far more about superpowers, and what happens when everyone in the world similtaneously gets more power than they can handle.
“ It’s not a superhero book at all,” concurs Rob Williams. “No capes or costumes here. It’s more the juxtaposition of the everyday with super powers. I think it’s more equatable to a Walking Dead/zombie apocalypse situation. One day the world wakes up and everyone has gained a super power, and everyone has an individual power. All apart from one guy.”
Whatever it isn’t, Ordinary very definitely is very funny and yet another feather in their respective caps for both of the book’s talented creators, whose past credits include working together on strips such as Lowlife for 2000AD. And yes, it very definitely isn’t a superhero comic but based on this first issue it is a very human comic, with strong focus on characterisation as well as stunning visuals.
Central character Michael Fisher is one of life’s failures, accused by his fellow plumber (the one who tuns into a bear, one of my favourite scenes) of always letting people down. I haven’t read this creator-owned story, which first ran in Judge Dredd Megazine, before so I’m looking forward to finding out whether or not he proves his critics wrong.
A fast-paced tale with cracking, beautifully coloured art from D’Israeli, Ordinary is a glorious panacea to the doom and gloom of the kind of superhero comic it might not be, but certainly pokes a lot of fun at. Based on his past work, I’m sure we can expect a lot of visual gags from D’Israeli to accompany a great story from Rob Williams, a tale laced with dark humour so sorely lacking from many modern US comics. Recommended.
• Ordinary #1 is available from all good specialist comic shops from 28th May. For information on British comic shops visit our map page
• Rob Williams and D’Israeli will be launching their new comic ‘Ordinary’ at the Forbidden Planet Bristol Megastore at 5:00pm on Wednesday 28th May. Full details on the Forbidden Planet web site here
• Read an interview on Pipedream Comics with Rob Williams and D’Israeli about the advantages and pitfalls of creator-owned comics
“The creator-owned boom is like the Californian gold rush. A few will get rich, but the majority will leave their creators a opiate-addled toothless hobo”
Ordinary © 2014 Rob Williams & D’Israeli