The Mighty Titan is a creation of Joe Martino (whose previous work under the Arcana banner includes Shadowflame and Ripperman), and has a personal resonance with his own life and his struggles and experiences as a cancer survivor.
The premise of the series is both brilliantly simple and incredibly complex, although the story is revealed slowly throughout the first issue, so I’m not going to plough in with the spoilers just yet. Suffice to say it’s going to ask some interesting questions of just what being a real hero is all about.
My initial impression of the Kickstarter-funded book was just how polished and – dare I say – professional it looked. I should qualify that statement by pointing out that I’ve been asked to review a multitude of titles by their creators in the past, and while the standard has been fairly high for the most part, this is easily the most visually appealing comic to have hit my inbox in a long, long time.
The team of Luca Cicchitti (pencils), Cory Smith (pencils), Jeff Austin (inks) and Keith J. Betancourt (colours) combine to paint a vivid, detailed world that wouldn’t look out of place in a ‘big two’ title. The action scenes are brilliantly frantic, the character expressions are spot-on, and it’s difficult not to get drawn into the world Martino has created based solely on its visual appeal.
While the story starts off fairly slowly, Martino’s writing is of an undeniably high standard, and sets the stage beautifully as we are slowly introduced to our ‘hero’, Mark Williams, and the world he inhabits. Williams is a compelling protagonist; a down-on-his-luck everyman struggling to find a job and support his family in this difficult economy. The juxtaposition between this humble man fighting through his very real struggles and the seemingly invulnerable Titan battling giant robots and maniacal villains works extremely well, and is only hammered home as the issue progresses.
The work on the supporting characters – no matter how fleeting – is also of a consistently high standard, with arch-nemesis Trenchmouth (just call him “Professor”) being a definite highlight. Also, the twist near the end – while not exactly unpredictable, especially given the slew of spoilers and hints about the title on the ‘net – gave me a serious hook to want to read more.
If this was a book I’d simply picked off the shelves on a whim (and given the striking nature of the cover, that’s not out of the question), it would definitely become an addition to my monthly pull list; and as it is, I can’t wait to see where the story develops. I’ll definitely be tracking the progress of this project with interest.