By Brian Wood, Ming Doyle, and Jordie Bellaire; Image Comics
Mara is a Sci-fi-Superhero comic set in a militaristic, hyper-regimented future that is really passionate about volleyball. In the comic Mara, an international volleyball superstar, is living the high life: she's famous, she's got sponsors, she has legions of adoring fans. That is until she exhibits superpowers while on the court and it all comes crashing down. With artwork by Ming Doyle and Jordie Bellaire, Mara is a fantastic looking comic well worth looking at. Unfortunately the script of Mara doesn’t really deliver on the premise or live up to the art quality. When Mara was launched it was hyped as a feminist Sci-fi epic which tackled materialistic, authoritarian themes of modern society and also volleyball. And for me Mara just didn’t deliver enough on these themes. The issue, I think, is that the comic tried to play with too many ideas and included too much plot for the short length of the comic. As a result, Mara failed to really develop the themes, characters, and relationships that were the most interesting to me. And so Mara really felt more like a trippy, Twilight-Zoney Superhero tale than the high concept comic or character study I was hoping for: a short weird story in a cool setting with some heady ideas instead of a fully developed discussion. That said, I think if you approach Mara with an open mind, there is still an enjoyable comics experience to be had. Or at the very least a pretty one.