Month of African-American Comics – Brotherhood of the Fringe
All this month I’ll be reviewing different comic books by African-American creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. A quick note – since this month is so relatively short, I’ll be featuring an extra comic every week, for a total of 32 comics spotlighted! Here is a list of all the comics spotlighted so far!
In this installment we take a look at N. Steven Harris’ Brotherhood of the Fringe (specifically the first two books)…
The concept of this comic is that a young woman works as a journalist for a large corporation in a country where a foreign power has taken control for the past three decades. The corporation is part of this foreign power. However, she is secretly working for the resistance movement, known as the Fringe.
The bad guys, though, come up with a plan – to capture her and turn her into a brainwashed superbeing intent on destroying the Fringe!
The series actually opens up in media res, as Jasira waks up after the transformation…
Harris is an absolutely outstanding artist. His work just pops off of the page. He has so much energy, but it is all so very calculated, as well. It is not just all over the place, he has very well designed layouts to go along with the frenetic energy of his action sequences. That’s what I really liked about his work on Aztek, years ago. So much energy but never sacrificing storytelling for dynamism (something that I think many artists do early on in their career – when they can find a way to balance the two you get awesomeness – Francis Manapul, for instance, was a guy who always had the dynamic artwork but only in the past six-seven years has he managed to combine that with great storytelling and the end result is he has become one of the top artists in the entire industry).
The set-up is an intriguing one and I am fascinated in seeing Jasira eventually break free from her captors (in the first issue she tries, but other superpowered beings defeat her in an awesome, knockdown brawl).
You can buy the collection of Books 1 and 2 plus some preview for Book 3 directly from Harris himself here.