Sunday, November 24, 2013

Enigma by Peter Milligan & Duncan Fegredo

A short piece today
"And Michael remembers the first time he stood naked in front of a strange girl...Because that's what he feels like now. A strange girl."

Oh, one of my many favorite lines from Enigma.

Enigma, like Starstruck, is another underrated comic masterpiece. It is a beautiful existential piece that deals with gender and identity exploration and an exploration of the secrets within us. The type of secrets that are waiting to burst, to show the world who we are but that we're afraid to show. Afraid because of the consequences and social stigma we might face if we really did show who we are to strangers and to the people we love; especially to the people we love. The enigma inside us, waiting for us to discover and nurture it. Enigma explores all those emotions and themes through a superhero filter.;16;39PM.JPGEnigma tells the story of Michael Smith and of his plain life. A life that's completely planned out, where on Tuesdays he makes "love" to his girlfriend and if anything interferes with his daily routine, he falls apart. Almost literally, he breaks down when one of his girlfriend and her friends go out to a bar instead of doing the daily schedule with Smith; because of it, Smith is made fun off and demasculinized in the process. While all this is going on, in the background there's a killer in the loose who sucks out his victim's brains. After the bar incident, Smith becomes the brainsucker's next victim, except... He gets saved by someone, that someone being a superhero name Enigma. And it's through this meeting that the story from an exploration of daily life to a road story and gender/sexuality exploration. Enigma is the catalyst that moves Smith from an ordinary straight male to a vibrant, strong, take-the-initiative gay male. Milligan and Fegredo also uses the Enigma as a catalyst to explore the inner workings of the rest of the characters in comic and to push the idea what an identity and gender really is while deconstructing the superhero genre through identity and gender; it's just a fucking ingenious idea.;19;43PM.JPG

That's what I like about Enigma a lot. It takes gender cliches and twists them around and turns them upside down through a superhero filter
. Milligan and Fegredo uses the secret identity of superheroes to explore the secret identities of everyday people. It's through the meeting of Enigma that people start to realize who they really are. It's an interest dynamic but it's hard to explain without having to spoil the comic. And I don't want to spoil this comic. There's a lot going on and if I did put all out there, it would destroy the magic of the comic. So, go out there and buy a copy and you won't be disappointed.

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