One of the bigger announcements coming out of the Image Comics Expo, along with the news of a new Phonogram series, is the news that Brian Wood and Ming Doyle will be teaming up for a new mini-series; MARA. A sci-fi/superhero comic set in the near-future, MARA tells the story of a teenage celebrity who develops superhuman powers. The six issue mini-series, which has a female lead character, was developed in part as a response to the increasingly over-sexualized portrayal of women in comics.
Speaking with Comics Alliance, writer Brian Wood provided the plot description to MARA, saying…
“The world of MARA is a war-and-fitness obsessed future, where the angst and insecurity of average citizens is compensated with an extreme focus on sports and battle. Mara Prince is a superbly gifted athlete, playing in a women’s volleyball league, and is as famous as you can imagine, with endless endorsements, comped everything, and millions of screaming teenage fans. Until one day, during a highly visible match, she starts to manifest superpowers. For a culture that prizes physical achievement, conformity, and fair-minded sportsmanship, this puts Mara’s entire world at risk.”
With the portrayal of female characters in comic books, especially after the way DC relaunched the majority of its females characters into scantily clad sluts, there has been an awful lot of talk about the role of women in comics. For an industry that is badly in need of new readers, and desperate to keep its existing ones, it’s baffling how so many of the comic publishers relegate their female characters to little more than eye candy. This growing (though not new) controversy was, in part, an inspiration for Brian Wood as he worked on developing the series along with artist Ming Doyle. Here’s how he described it…
“I decided to create this during the post-DC52 reaction regarding women in comics, female characters in superhero stories and their depiction within, and all that discussion that followed. In addition to just feeling like I had a powerful, relevant story to tell, I wanted to prove, if only to myself, that a story like this can be told without reducing it to or otherwise relying on these sorts of base depictions of women. Like Channel Zero, Jennie One, Supermarket, Demo, Local, The New York Four, The New York Five, DV8, and a good deal of Northlanders, MARA features a complex, realistic, multi-faceted female lead.”
No word yet on when MARA is scheduled to be released. However, as more details are made available, I will absolutely keep you updated. Stay tuned.
Filed Under: Comic Books