“Science is a useful illusion for humanity, a balm for your bone-deep ignorance. It adequately describes your observable world in a manner which brings you comfort. An opiate for the masses, if you will.” So says Cassandra, a member of Mythic Lore Services, the organization central to the plot of Mythic #1. In short, science is a lie, what we know isn’t real, and the supernatural beings we were told are figments of our imaginations, are in fact,what makes the universe tick. Mythic Lore Services ensures that the supernatural ticking continues without interruption, so our world can continue to exist.
The story begins innocently enough, with a rather haggard old woman attempting to return her broken cellphone to the store where she bought it. The salesman, Nate Jayadarma, attempts to help the old woman. However, panel after panel, the old lady looks increasingly decrepit and, eventually, monstrous. Finally, as Nate tinkers with the phone, he finds what appears to be a stray hair stuck in a crack in the faceplate, and when he pulls on it finds that it is still attached to a mole on the old woman’s face. The hair gets wrapped around his arm, and as he pulls on it the mole begins to grow as two hideous, demonic beings erupt from the old lady’s face. That’s right. Two demonic beings erupt from her face! One thing leads to another, and the fact that Nate survives the encounter is how he ends up with Mythic Lore Support, Field Team 8.
Fast forward five weeks, and we find Nate investigating a drought in Yellowstone National Park with his Mythic mentors, a man known as Waterson and the aforementioned Cassandra. Without giving too much away, it seems the sky elemental, Stormcloud, hasn’t been getting any sweet lovin’ from the earth elemental known as Rockwoman. Field Team 8 is on site to reconcile the two estranged demigods. Let’s just say things get weird, and we get introduced to Waterson’s “other half,” a being so awesomely grotesque in appearance that words don’t do it justice.
This first issue of Mythic sets the stage for a universe so weird, so implausible, that it is impossible to resist its charm. Phil Hester’s vision of a world where science is a lie allows for a veritable free-for-all of supernatural possibilities. His script is tight, well-paced, and packed with both action and humor. At one point, as Waterson attempts to explain the reason for the drought to a scientist who is also investigating, he says, “When the sky and the land bang, the rain follows. But Stormcloud has a bit of a wandering dick, and Rockwoman’s been sore at him since last summer. They’re what you call estranged.” No attempt at some pseudoscientific paranormal technobabble, but simple, straightforward dialogue like you’d hear from the guy you work with on the dock. Simply brilliant, and at the same time, quite refreshing. The artwork from John McCrea is a perfect match to Hester’s script and is exactly what comic fans have come to expect from McCrea – a grotesque style that is simply perfect. Take that opening scene with the old lady and the demons for example.
Mythic #1 is a fantastic read. Period. It is worthy of multiple reads as there is always some little nuance of art or dialogue that was missed the last time around, simply because the artwork and script are that good that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It is that good. Go buy it now.