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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 Kamau Mshale’s Captain Kacela Universal Ranger #1-3
With Captain Kacela, Mshale is trying to create a strong young black female hero, but also one that doesn’t have to look like an airbrushed Tyra Banks, ya know? A powerful, empowered young woman with a strong African-American background. Here, though, her African-American background is an interstellar one. You see, in the first issue when we meet Kai Kacela, we learn that while she was born on Earth, her parents brought her to an alien world when she was a baby as her father was drafted into the interstellar peace keeping organization known as the Universal Rangers. On this planet, the denizens develop extranormal abilities and Kacela is no exception (her mother, though, makes sure that her daughter is connected to her African roots even though she’s hundreds of thousands of miles away from Earth). Her father is killed on a mission when she is a kid and she vows to become a member of the Rangers. She reaches her goal in the first issue and is assigned a task uniquely designed for her – some bad guys are trying to invade Earth! She stops them in the first issue but in the process crash lands on Earth.
In the second issue, she then meets Harriet, a typical teen in the U.S….
A lot of the plot in #2-3 is contrasting Harriet and Kacela…
However, the alien plot was not completely stopped by Kacela and now she learns that it was just a small piece of a much larger threat, one that could threaten Earth but also the Universal Rangers period!
Mshale’s designs for Kacela are really impressive and the issues flow well with a good mix of action and character work. I think he definitely achieved his goal with this project – this is a hero any young girl would be proud to look up to.
You can buy the first three issues at IndyPlanet here.