Mara #1

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Comic book, 2012

The few Brian Wood comics that I’ve read have proven to be frustrating experiences for me. This is due in part to the fact that the ideas for them sound so good on paper. It’s the execution of those ideas that doesn’t agree with me. I first experienced this with his relaunch of the Wildstorm property DV8 a while back. The basic premise was that a bunch of young, bratty superheroes get transported to a primitive land, where they are then worshiped as gods. It’s a unique idea rife with potential for action and drama, except the fact that the entire story was being told by one of the superheroes in the past tense, eliminating much of the immediacy and danger inherent in the concept. I had a similar experience with Wood’s new comic Mara, which takes place in a world where government supported sporting leagues serve as a distraction from a constant state of war, and is centered around its biggest celebrity, a volleyball star named Mara. Another great concept with built-in social commentary and visual potential. Unfortunately, Wood again takes a smart concept and tells it in a way that allows only for the minimal amount of thought from the reader. The first half of this issue is nothing but narration, explaining Mara’s world in a way not dissimilar from the way I do above. It tells us its story by practically reading us a summary of itself, instead of showing us this world and letting us discover it for ourselves. I want to love your stories Brian Wood. Please let me enjoy them instead of cramming them down my throat.



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