Comic books had much to offer in 2017. Anyone who was over the bloated crossover storylines traditional in Marvel and DC were able to take respites through several lesser known titles of the two major comic-juggernauts and indie comics.
Some of the best storytelling is when history is combined with a fictional narrative. Imagine its 1850 and dark skinned man in Native American dress comes charging at you, hatchet in hand. ‘The Maroon’ is about a Seminole black man who has near supernatural strength. In issue one he’s being hunted. The action is intense as is the artwork. There’s also the sense of history happening. Think of a story based on factual events. The players may have been lost to history, but you get the sense that at one point in time they existed. Through the next several installments, the audience gets to understand why this comic book series is for mature audiences only. Creator and writer Derek W. Lipscomb is telling a grown folks’ tale with careful detail being paid attention to the time period. There are villains in this story, but they are not as clear cut as you would believe. Just think about being a slave when not even your body belongs to you. It means that you may do anything to survive.
Harriet Tubman Demon Slayer
Harriet Tubman escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad. She is an icon who led several slaves to freedom including her two brothers during Christmas time. But what if she had to do this battling demons? The sort you see in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but in real life, not a television show. David Crownson has done something imaginative by inducing an historic figure with demon-fighting skills. In a sense Crownson builds on Tubman’s strengths by subverting the tropes of a traditional superhero. Also, how else can you define evil during a time when a human being could be considered property based on the color of their skin? This take on a popular figure will have you seeing history from a different perspective.
There are some comic book series that that don’t survive superhero crossovers. This past summer Captain America turned into a Nazi and small groups banded together in order to take him down. Agent Daisy Johnson of SHIELD who had clearance higher than Black Widow put a team together. Consisting of Moon Girl and her dinosaur, Ms. Marvel, Inferno and Karnak they were no longer needed when Steve Rogers was himself again. You would think that the team would have disbanded. But some storylines are too good not to continue. It seems that Dark Beast (left over from an X-Men crossover years ago) had been experimenting on Karnak’s son, with the Inhuman’s permission. Now the Secret Warriors must deal not only with the Captain America fallout, but with Mr. Sinister. This comic is refreshing. The dialogue is witty and Karnak is atypical. He’s done some heinous things however, you don’t know what his agenda is. It’s worth getting it into your pull box to find out what’s going to happen next.
Nessa and Piru Tyler are siblings who are part of a destiny they could never had imagined. Mixing African mythology and good storytelling, Kola Boof has created a comic book consisting of complex black characters. Brother and sister discover who they are and what enemies they face. In doing that they must also face the demons within. ‘Volcano Woman’ can be found on the website of the same name.