Review - Omni #1 (@humanoidsinc)

"We have to start with the origin story, right?"

Every hero has an origin story. In Omni #1 from H1 Comics, Cecilia Cobbina's story is grounded somewhat in modern-day events. The issue is written by Devin Grayson, illustrated by Alitha E. Martinez, colored by Bryan Valenza and lettered by A Larger World Studios.

Cecelia Cobbina is a gifted doctor--vibrant, compassionate and praised by both her peers and her patients. But that was before the incident in Africa. Before she was forced to leave her job at Doctors Without Borders behind. Before she gained the ability to think faster than the speed of light. Overwhelmed with the power to answer almost every question, she must now overcome her own fears and tackle the one code she can’t seem to break: the truth behind the ignited.

At the core of the story is Cecelia, who Grayson uses to funnel the narrative through as well tie into the burgeoning, larger Humanoids universe that's being created. And for most of the issue, the reader gets a close look at how Cecilia is adapting to her new abilities as she travels the world in an attempt to see the bigger picture. There's still quite a bit of uncertainty in both the character and the story, largely because Cecilia comes off as a little too know-it-all that's it's a little tough to rally behind her. It's the same premise behind Sherlock Holmes; someone who's just so brilliant and adept at analyzing every solution for the best possible outcome that the supporting characters really need to shine. There's even a "Watson" referencing throwaway line written by Grayson that seems to acknowledge the Holmes comparison and how the rest of the characters continue to react to Cecilia will play a large part in how the story continues.

The idea behind the Ignition universe is that the characters are seemingly normal people with extraordinary abilities and that's reflected well in the artwork. Martinez does a good job of rendering Cecilia as a sort of everyday good person, in that she's wearing an appropriate uniform that evokes thoughts of Doctors Without Borders and nothing really calls her out as having abilities. There's a general sense of vagueness in all the artwork that sort of grounds the book in a way as Martinez doesn't really use a lot of detail. Martinez outlines the panels with thick, black lines that do well in accenting the action and keeping things framed appropriately. Valenza's colors skew darker throughout and add a sense of gravitas to the proceedings.

Omni #1 is an interesting origin story in that it seems to infuse a bit more of an investigatory twinge to an all-knowing super-power. Cecilia knows she can do good and she plans to do even more good since she has an increased ability to analyze situations. Grayson introduces Cecelia as someone who's extraordinarily compassionate and is struggling to reconcile her emotion with her newfound rapid intelligence. Martinez offers characters who look convincing as generous do-gooders. Omni #1 adds another building block to what is becoming the foundation for the Humanoids universe.

Omni #1 is available August 14.