The Massive-Verse is a set of comic books that I am late to the party on reading. I just started reading Radiant Black recently. So far, I’ve enjoyed what I have read from Kyle Higgins and company and what they have created with the Massive-Verse. The universe has been fun to discover with characters that all have the layers you want from a superhero comic. Now while I still have a lot to catch up on with the Massive-Verse I was made very intrigued by the latest entry in the franchise with No/One. This comic book appears to tell a standalone story within the Massive-Verse. With that in mind, let’s see how No/One #1 turned out.
Writers: Kyle Higgins and Brian Buccellato
Artist: Geraldo Borges
Colorist: Mark Englert
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
No/One #1 wasted no time as the reader is placed right in the middle of a murder mystery that involves a greater plot going on in Pittsburgh. As the first issue moves forward creative team Kyle Higgins, Brian Buccellato, and Geraldo Borges reveal more about the history of this world through the character interactions. This creates a story that is organically told in a living and breathing world.
Taking this approach allowed there to be a sense of discovery in the story being told in No/One #1. You are more engaged with what each character is saying. Through the conversations, you learn more about what has happened before the events of No/One #1. In the process, the mystery around the murder investigation that opens this issue is given greater importance.
Helping the narrative is that there is not just one protagonist we are viewing everything from. The story is structured in a way where we follow the murder mystery story through multiple perspectives. The family dynamic utilized by Higgins and Buccellato provides a lot of needed context that gives the reader a good sense of the history of this world. It’s all written in a way where as the reader you feel you are discovering the layers of the story the deeper you get into reading No/One #1.
With these direct personal ties, it made the journalist character we get a perspective from play an important third-party role in the story. Through her, we see how the story around the murder mystery is being told to the public. It creates a conflict of its own as her journalistic principles come into opposition with those that just want to chase the headlines.
Spotlighting all these different characters gives the title character, No/One, an aura of being a legend. The limited physical appearance of No/One lets the focus be on the people of Pittsburgh. This gets you into the mindset of this being a grounded story. It all creates questions of what the motivations for No/One are when they do appear in this issue.
The supplementary in No/One #1 was a nice touch to give further insight into events involving these characters when we open the comic book. Everything from how the material utilizes how many would find this type of information and the way it’s written is a great use of real-world aspects in a superhero comic.
Geraldo Borges and Mark Englert deliver strong artwork throughout that was brought to life how the story in No/One is set in the real-world setting of Pittsburgh. You have a lot of personality from how Borges establishes No/One’s version of Pittsburgh. That compliments the characters living there. The setting of each scene enhances the personalities of the characters that are interacting at that particular moment. The different settings help to enhance the emotions different characters are displaying as the story unfolds. Englert coloring also nails the tone of the time of the year this entire story is set in.
As soon as you open No/One #1 you are immediately invested in the world that Kyle Higgins, Brian Buccellato, and Geraldo Borges craft. While you are dropped in the middle of a murder mystery already in-development you are rewarded the deeper you get into No/One #1 as we learn more about the characters and story. It all comes together for a must-read comic book.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10