Writer: Sean Taylor
Artist: JP Dupras
Publisher: Shooting Star Comics
Price: $2.99 each
Mark Williams was planning to be a superhero. He’d trained for years to fight crime without powers. His fiancée, on the other hand, was counting on a mystic artifact to grant her the superpowers of an ancient goddess. But a sudden attack by mysterious women led to Mark hosting the goddess, Ashtanyaka. He now has strength and powers far beyond mortal men, and the body of a woman! Reluctantly, Mark fights crime as the “Fishnet Angel,” so named by the press because of “his” fishnet stockings. (His fiancée picked out the costume.)
None of which matters for these first two issues. Angel is beaten by the reincarnation of Ashtanyaka’s old lover. She loses her memory, both of herself and of Mark. If she doesn’t get it back, the city will suffer.
So we’ve got a combination Firestorm/Mantra heroine with the hook of being a woman who thinks like a man. (Couldn’t that be said of all women in comics? I mean, think about who writes them.) The origin is revealed through text stories at the back of the book. But like I said, it’s not important to this story. All you need to know is that Fishnet Angel has the minds of an ancient warrior goddess and a modern man. By the end of issue two, she decides to forge a new identity as Marcia Williams.
Beyond the concept, this is really just another superhero comic. We’ve got a villain looking for revenge, spies close to our heroine, and an army of scarabs. Nothing we haven’t seen before. There are signs Mark’s personal life has gotten very complicated since his transformation. For example, his fiancée is now dating someone else. And “Marcia” is pregnant. When did that happen? And who was in charge of her body at the time?
Like most independent comics, the art serves the story. It has more detail than most indy books, and there’s a strong sense of craftsmanship. But it lacks a sense of flare; of unique artistic style. You can tell what’s going on, and who everyone is, and that’s about it.
I would suggest writer Sean Taylor spend more time on Marcia’s personal life. Show us how she’s trying to be her own woman separate from the people that created her, (child/parents metaphor). How has Mark’s life changed/fallen apart since becoming the Angel? And let’s see more of Ashtanyaka’s world; develop her history and mythology. I’d also encourage artist JP Dupras to experiment with panel layout, design, and ink line thickness. These two have the basics down. Now let’s see them build on them.
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