Simon Pooni was a regular kid once, captain of the school basketball team, until something life changing happened to him - he contracted multiple sclerosis. Confined to a wheelchair and barely able to use crutches his future looks bleak. That is until a space monkey appears out of nowhere and gives him superpowers! Gone is Simon Pooni, Superior is here!
In a twist on the body swapping premise made famous by "Big" and "Freaky Friday", a disabled boy finds himself with a new body that not only looks exactly like his favourite fictional superhero but can fly, has super strength, super speed, laser vision, the whole lot! Except the space monkey is not who he appears and Simon is about to realise the true cost of a wish fulfilled.
Mark Millar writes a great story most of us who read superhero comics have dreamt of - what would it be like to have superpowers? But more than showing the benefits of having someone like Superior in real life - stopping terrorism, averting natural disasters, saving millions of lives - Millar does a fine job of putting a disease that can afflict anyone, multiple sclerosis, in the spotlight.
One of the best lines in the book is when Simon becomes Superior and says something like "Looking back, I could fly, I had super strength, I could shoot lasers from my eyes, but when people ask me what I liked best about being a superhero?, it was being able to move my toes again". It's a heart-breaking snapshot of what people with MS must feel like every day. The tribute to Christopher Reeve at the back is touching too.
But enough touchy-feely stuff, has the book got the action superhero fans crave? Of course, it's Mark "Ultimates" Millar at the helm. Superior finds his own Lex Luthor (the book is a very thinly veiled riff on Superman) and huge battle scenes commence, skilfully drawn by Lenil Yu who did great work with Millar on their last collaboration, "Ultimate Avengers".
It's a really fun book to read but, in contrast to Millar's "Nemesis" which was out this time last year, "Superior" has a lot of heart to it and you find yourself rooting for Simon throughout. A great alternative take on superhero stories, "Superior" is an excellent read.