SPIDER-MANDATE: The Lowe-down on "Secret Wars," Tie-Ins and Stacey Lee
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!
We finish the month’s worth of spotlights in a similar fashion to how we began, an excellent comic book about a strong female character. The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury is written by Brandon Thomas and drawn by Lee Ferguson and Marc Deering and a host of colorists.
Miranda Mercury was originally intended to be a mini-series that would later be collected into a hardcover. Sadly, after the first amazing issue was released, Archaia halted almost all of their indidivual comics. So we had to wait quite a while before all of the issues appeared for the first time in a collection. But now the collection is out there and you simply must go out and read it! Brandon Thomas wrote himself a simply stunning comic book here.
The gist is that Miranda Mercury is a science hero, basically like a superhero, only science fiction style (Adam Strange I guess would be the closest comparison). In the first issue, we discover that she is dying. Therefore, when she and her sidekick, the genius Jack Warning, have successfully rescued a special puzzle known as the Ronin’s Riddle. Whoever solves it can be granted a wish. Jack decides to solve it in an extremely clever fashion, but there is a twist…
How awesome is that? Miranda, naturally, makes a wish other than what a non-superhero would do. You can read the entire first story for free at Comic Book Resources here. It’s an astonishingly good opening story. The rest of the volume, though, holds up to that high level of quality. Ferguson and Deering’s vibrant artwork matches Thomas’ energy level but never detract from the bittersweet nature of the story – after all, our hero is going to DIE at the end of the story! Or is she?
That’s why you have to read the story, right?
Much like another outstanding series about the final year in the life of a hero, All Star Superman, Miranda Mercury mostly tells a series of one-off adventures that take up her vast world of supporting cast members (of course, unlike All Star Superman, Thomas is just making these people up wholesale). They are fun, they are touching, they are filled with great depths. There is an edge to these stories while they are still extremely accessible. It is a balance that really only the top comic book writers could ever hope to manage and Thomas completely pulls it off.
This is an excellent comic book series and I would love to see a second volume. While I think we eventually WILL see it, it would come a whole lot faster if more people would just buy the first volume. You can get the entire collection at Comixology for just ten bucks right now. It is more than worth that cost.
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