Mara #3 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. THE VERDICT 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. One Response Will March 7, 2013 Thanks for the great review of this series. This issue really flew by on my first read as I wanted to know the backstory of the gunshot, and any explanation for how Mara has received or developed super-human abilities. But Brian Wood seems just as if not more interested in using the story to show what happens when branding and celebrity culture run rampant. I’m also loving the art, especially many of the subtle futuristic elements. And I appreciate that while Mara is certainly depicted as an attractive character, she is not hyper-sexualized or drawn in compromising positions. Thanks again for highlighting this series! Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.