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Brian Wood's Mara #1 Review
By Andy Frisk
January 6, 2013 - 20:11

Image Comics
Writer(s): Brian Wood
Penciller(s): Ming Doyle
Inker(s): Ming Doyle
Colourist(s): Jordie Bellaire
$2.99 US

Mara is the biggest sports personality in the world...a world obsessed with sports, war, and winning. Leading the Western Hemisphere's best female volleyball team (most likely the United States' team), Mara is the hope, prime driving force of recruitment for the military (her brother is in the army), and national hero of her nation. Only a generation ahead of our contemporary world, Mara's world is one that is strangely familiar yet even more frightening with its hyper-obsession with physical prowess and the power of the multi-trillion dollar sports entertainment industry to pacify the masses. Mara is more unique than even she knows though as her abilities are suddenly revealed to go beyond the realm of the average human...

Brian Wood is writing a whole plethora of comic books currently, and fans of his work (like myself) are enjoying reading his many new socially and politically charged  and commentary packed works. Mara looks to be no different, except that it actually has a science fiction/supernatural aspect that many of his other works don't (there's even very little-if any-magic in his brilliant Conan the Barbarian series for Dark Horse Comics). There's only one instance of "superhuman" activity in Mara #1, but it is charged with enough consequence to propel the whole series along, even if we won't be seeing any more of it. He's also brushed upon enough of that social and political commentary to last a full six issues of intrigue (Mara is a planned mini-series). Don't let Wood's fascination with such topics turn you off from Mara though, as always his commentary is subtle and intelligent rather than loud and ignorant.

Partnering with Wood on Mara is Ming Doyle (Fantastic Four). Wood has a legendary reputation for working well with some of the industry's most talented female sequential artists (like Becky Cloonan), and Ming Doyle's art and his style of storytelling fit hand and glove. While not as powerfully original or unique as Cloonan's artwork and much more sketchy in the final product, Doyle's art is nonetheless powerfully original and imaginative.

Ever since breaking free of DC Comics, Brian Wood's name has been popping up on comic book covers everywhere. With Mara, Wood looks to add another thought provoking hit to his long list of brilliant stories. 


Rating: 9/10

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From IDW Publishing, the third issue of Supermarket by Brian Wood and Kristian Donaldson.