I was immediately intrigued by the solicitation tagline from Previews for this book, “Social Justice Warrior | Surgeon | Superpowered | Badass.” What piqued my interest more was that this was written by Devin Grayson, one of my favorite writers (who arguably had the best run on Nightwing, for what it’s worth). I hadn’t seen any of her work in a long time, so I needed to give this a try.
Not only is this a #1 issue for a book, it is also an entrance into a brand spanking new shared universe. Many people are hesitant to jump into comics when presented with decades of backstory. This is the perfect opportunity for completely new readers to get on the ground floor. Humanoids is a publisher that has been around a long time, but the H1 imprint that this title is published under looks to be something completely different from anything I have seen them put out before. Admittedly, my exposure to Humanoids has been very sparse. Thus, I am a prime candidate for them.
Without giving too much away, we learn that something has been “Ignited” in the world, giving people powers (Ignited is the term used to describe how people got powers and presumably is the name of this shared universe). We don’t know to whom it has happened, how it happened, or what kind of powers exist. If Omni is indicative of what the rest of these titles may be like, then Humanoids is building something a bit different and quite interesting.
Omni stars Cecilia Cobbina, a Doctors without Borders surgeon. She is someone who is already a more noble human before even having powers. We discover that her particular gift seems to be that she is a master of all the various intelligences as described in the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Don’t worry if you don’t know about this, the book takes care to explain what that is all about. She is on a mission to find others with powers and how people got them. What Grayson and artist Alitha E. Martinez have worked out is a novel way to demonstrate each of these intelligences as differently color-shaded avatars of herself. each with a slightly different appearance. We get to watch her figure out what is happening through these interactions she has with herself, essentially thinking and bouncing off thoughts against these different versions. It’s a good concept for an ability and smart method to show how it works. This new character could essentially become this universe’s greatest detective / thinker. I am quite interested to see how Cecilia evolves and to follow up on the next issue.