Story by Brian Wood
Art by Ming Doyle
Review by Mara Whiteside
Mara #3 starts off with a full-page panel of our main volleyball star with a bullet straight to the chest. As far as attention-grabbing pages go, this single panel does its job in reeling in the reader to find out what happened.
The past few issues have established Mara as the top athlete in her sport. With beauty, grace, and athleticism, Mara is untouchable. When strange, supernatural things start happening around her, she begins to fall off her pedestal. Accusations of steroids and enhancements come flooding in, and suddenly Mara finds herself very alone in this dystopian world.
The structure of the issue can be difficult to read at first. The main plot is framed by the shooting featured in the first page. The shooting leaves little to no trace on her body. The EMT won’t even admit her to the hospital because her vitals are normal. The majority of the issue explains the situation from Mara’s perspective: the strange powers, the isolation, the outlandish gossip, and the intense pressure she feels as an athlete that carries the nation.
The issue ends ambiguously. Obviously, Mara is no longer fit to be a star volleyball player. She’s lost all her sponsors and respect from her teammates. She’s trained her whole life as a volleyball player. Without the sport, what else is left? The next issue in this miniseries will establish Mara’s next course of action, a course that will take her off the court and into the world.
Mara #3 is a difficult jumping-on point for readers. Luckily, there are only three issues out so far. If you are a fan of non-superhero comic books with great art, unique women-of-color lead characters, and a futuristic setting, then Mara is for you.