Review: Enigma

Artist(s): Duncan Fegredo, Peter Milligan.

Imagine you’re normal. No, come on, try.
I mean, you’ve got a girlfriend, whom you dutifully fuck every Tuesday, a dreary little job, and twenty-five bath towels.
You’re so normal you give a bad name to the word “normal” (which in my opinion already has a bad name, but that’s another problem).
Well then, your name is Michael Smith. The kind of guy everybody, even his girlfriend, takes for granted.

Unfortunately for your, uh, his sense of normality, weird things begin to happen. A maniac sucks people’s brains out of their nostrils, another shows them the futility of their lives – with rather permanent results – and amongst those monsters, a stranger plays hero. A stranger named Enigma.
But what’s the connection to Michael? The comic book titled Enigma he used to read when he was a child? And what does this enigma mean to the normal guy?

The first ad for the series

Another ad, with a sly sense of humor

Michael and Enigma

Reality, sexuality and the caloric content of lizards make up this tale concocted by Peter Milligan, the writer of the long-lived and queer-friendly series Shade, The Changing Man (an issue of which was beautifully titled “Attack of the Normalcy Snatchers“) and Duncan Fegredo, who developed over the course of the series his current style, full of mannerisms and quirkiness.
Without giving away too much, I can tell you that Michael and the hero (if he really can be called that) will meet face to face, and that Michael will soon find his daily life far too restricted for his new-found sense of self. A self that will lead him directly in the arms of Enigma.

All I’ve told you is only a tenth of the strangeness of this story. Rarely have I read a comic book where the characters all show such a human warmth, such an intense desire to live unfettered by the rules of small-minded people. Enigma1 is a story for those who have retained a sense of wonder, of the joy a bizarre comic book can bring a child. It is a story for those who are not afraid to love, who are not afraid to die, not afraid to live.

  1. This 200 pages graphic novel was published by Vertigo/DC Comics in 1995 and collects the 8-issue mini-series from 1993. You can find it at Amazon.

Comments are closed.