IS’Nana Comic Book Review: Relateable And Fun

For the most part, indie comic-books have solid storytelling. The type where writers and creators are not restricted by an outdated canon. IS’Nana written and created by Greg Anderson-Elysee has taken a bite out of Anansi folklore and has created a relatable hero.

IS’Nana has a problem in that he cares about people. Apparently, Queen Mmboro is building an army to take over the earth plane and IS’Nana has decided to take it upon himself to attempt to save the human shells that the drone bees are inhabiting. It’s truly horrific. But that’s what makes this story compelling. You may not like spiders and bees, but they both have important roles in our everyday existence. Now what if there was an imbalance? How do you keep bees in check? Are spiders and bees mortal enemies? One visually disturbing enemy of spiders are spider-wasps. It will paralyze a spider, impregnate them with their eggs, then as the egg hatches, they will consume the spider from the inside. Think John Hurt in ‘Alien’ only you know what’s happening to you because you’re fully conscious during the entire process. Bees have just as many dangers to their survival. There are predators who will climb into a hive and eat bees as well as their honey. And there are spiders who also kill bees. Still, it’s a matter of when one’s territory is being encroached upon, you protect it. In the case of ‘IS’Nana The Were-Spider: Volume II’ The Bee Queen has an agenda. And IS’Nana in trying to figure out what’s going on is just collecting those who have been infected. But what’s going to happen when Queen Mmboro’s plan comes to fruition? How’s he going to stop it and save the people who’ve been abducted?

As Anansi wonders where his son has gone to, we see the people who have been infected. They’re leading normal lives until they’ve been bitten. If you’ve ever been stung by a bee you would remember it. It can go from a simple annoyance to death. This comic preys on all those fears. A swarm of bees heading towards you, the transition of a person being turned into a were-bee, it’s a lot to take in. The artwork makes everything that happens in this story believable. From the simple interaction between father and daughter to the fight scene where IS’Nana is perpetually sighing makes you scream, laugh and instantly connects you with several characters. More importantly, you want IS’Nana to win this. Only it seems impossible. Elysee has written his protagonist into a dilemma. If you only deal with problems as they arise, how can you get ahead of anything? How do you formulate a plan?

Anderson-Elysee and his team have created a world that you want to revisit. You may not get over your fear of bees, but you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the role of a spider.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 618 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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