Review - Malignant Man #1

Malignant Man was one of the most interesting first issues in an original series I’ve read in a while. It left me all at once wondering what the heck was going on, intrigued more than I thought I’d be and reconsidering the sad state of humanity in its thoughts about others. It helps that there also was a team of seemingly supernatural assassins – think Men in Black with a mean streak – chasing after a man to kill him. Normally this would be the same thing that happens in many comics out there only this target has just been told by a doctor that he has terminal cancer and will only be around for another 2-3 weeks.

It seems like a lot of trouble to try to kill a man with that kind of firepower when he is just going to die on his own that soon huh?

This interesting new title is brought to us by BOOM! Studios, created by James Wan, written by Michael Allen Nelson and art by Piotr Kowalski. Imagine if you will this roller coaster ride. You’ve been going through chemo for cancer and it hasn’t worked. The doctor has just informed you that you have two weeks to live. On your way home – perhaps bolstered by your newfound sense of having nothing to lose – you see a mugger about to shoot a woman’s daughter. You intervene only to take a bullet in the head and two to the chest. At least you went out fighting right? What if instead of dying you got stronger?

Sometimes you can blame a medical professional when they misdiagnose something due to their own negligence. I have a feeling that in Malignant Man we are going to end up being a little sympathetic to Alan Gates’ doctor for missing that this was something other than cancer. The unfortunate sequence of events above leads Alan to being rushed to the hospital, where the doctors decide that immediate brain surgery is needed. From there things REALLY get crazy. A kill squad shows up. Alan has a flashback to what could be a rather gruesome past. A mysterious woman shows up and rushes him out of the hospital somewhat unexpectedly given Alan’s current condition.

What makes this issue really gripping is the first half of it incorporates human emotion and the pettiness of our collective thoughts at times. When Alan is admitted to the hospital shot in the head, another person waiting gripes that that is what it must take to get seen right away. The doctor, instead of commending Alan on saving lives trying to thwart a mugging, has a rather cynical take on what he thinks of Alan’s actions.

While no one who hasn’t been there could ever really KNOW what it feels like to be told you are going to die, the issue even opens with an emotional thought process by our protagonist that tries to convey what it would feel like. This allowed for me to become immediately emotionally invested in the main character. The entire issue just felt solidly put together and executed through the artwork.

So take one part mystery, one party human psychology and emotion and wrap them both together with an explosive action packed last half of the issue, and I believe you have a recipe for good things to come in Malignant Man. The book hits stores today with interiors below. Happy reading.