So at the end of the first issue, Mara moved suspiciously fast – like, really fast; at the end of the second issue she flew, rocketing up into the sky like Big Blue out to save Lois; now at the beginning of the third issue, she has a healing factor that can make gunshot wounds negligible and super strength. This series that started out as a volleyball comic set in the future is becoming suspiciously like every other superhero comic the Big 2 are putting out. Or is it?
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an enjoyable comic, it’s just that the charm of the first two issues was that it felt like it could go in any number of weird and interesting directions; to find out Brian Wood was aiming to add another superhero title on to the already-heaving shelves of superhero titles feels a bit disappointing. There’s even a SHIELD-like organisation that approaches Mara after the whole world finds out she’s got these superpowers!
That is unless he’s doing something else. In a world where an athlete like Mara is worshipped like a deity, is the fact that she has god-like powers a satire on celebrity culture and a reflection of a culturally destitute society? Despite being three issues in, it’s still unclear what Wood and co. are going for but I wouldn’t write the series off just yet as a slightly indie take on superheroes.
Ming Doyle continues to draw this comic beautifully. If anything her art is the best thing about this comic especially as Jordie Bellaire’s colours perfectly compliment her art. Doyle drawing Mara the character is really great – there’s a moment when Mara holds up the bullet and says what she does to her audience, the expression on her face and tone of voice made her feel like Dr Manhattan in that one panel.
I’m still invested in the series but I hope I’m wrong and it doesn’t just devolve into another superhero comic – hopefully Brian Wood’s got a few more tricks up his sleeve. Mara #3 throws out the volleyballs and goes all in with the superpowers, a bit of a dull decision for Wood to make in my mind but it’s all to play for in the next couple issues. Game on!
Mara #3 by Brian Wood, Ming Doyle and Jordie Bellaire is out now from Image Comics.
This article was first posted on March 9, 2013