Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag

Book #1. Top Shelf Productions (November 2014) NetGalley
With superstrength and invulnerability, Alison Green used to be one of the most powerful superheroes around. 
Fighting crime with other teenagers under the alter ego Mega Girl was fun - until an encounter with Menace, her mind-reading arch enemy, showed her evidence of a sinister conspiracy, and suddenly battling giant robots didn't seem so important. 
Now Alison is going to college and trying to find ways to help the world while still getting to class on time. It's impossible to escape the past, however, and everyone has their own idea of what it means to be a hero.... 
After a phenomenal success on Kickstarter, Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag bring their popular webcomic into print, collecting the first four issues, as well as some all-new, full-color pages!



I based all my decision making on whether or not to read this comic on the title and the cover. I've been thinking lately about what it means to be a strong female protagonist. Does it only apply to those characters who have great physical strength like Celaena from Throne of Glass or is there more to it? In the case of Strong Female Protagonist strength might not be all Alison Green can rely on to save the world.

Alison Green came into her powers at the age of fourteen. There were no prior warnings that she would become the most invincible and strongest woman in the world. That's the case with all of the superheroes and supervillains in this world. By a certain age you can just become something else entirely which would be really cool if everyone obtained powers that weren't burdens. One particular villain is this giant crystal/monster looking thing with sharp hands like swords that can even cut him. There's also this character that looks like a rat and another person who regenerates (who wants to live forever? - that's pretty lonely). So these powers are not always wonderful even for Mega Girl who took off her mask a long time ago. Alison Green wants to fight the bad guys but she realizes that just fighting villains won't save the world from poverty, hunger, and disease. So what's the point in trying?

I liked that this comic weighed in on right and wrong. There's a lot of shady things going on that makes you wonder whether being a superhero would just totally suck. Not even just getting a horrible power but what would happen if the government found out you had unbelievable powers? I wouldn't put it past them to take all those affected away into some secret place where scary things happen to you. I know there are other comics and movies that address this issue yet Strong Female Protagonist just puts it in your face. It can be a very brash, no nonsense comic like Alison Green herself with graphic violence and language. It can also be very heartbreaking and real which I really like about this comic.

A couple of things I didn't like were the graphic nature of this comic. I didn't really expect it however, that's not the problem - I just didn't like the constant in your face about all of it, all the time. I didn't like the little comments at the bottom of each page either. Some comments were interesting but most of them were distracting me while I read. I liked that this comic made me think about morals and brought the issue of how if we all tried this world would be a better place - superheroes, although a great fantasy, is realistically not going to solve any of our problems.

3 comments:

  1. It is always nice when any book makes you think and question. The little notes at the bottom unless relevant would have distracted me too.

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    1. They were semi relevant. Some of them didn't add to the story at all.

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  2. An interesting concept, that's for sure. I'm always interested in books with strong female protagonists, but a lot of times we think that means they must also be surly, physically strong, or snarky. I do like that this book brought up things to think about, but I'm with you on the graphic violence and language. I would have had a hard time with it too.

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