Written by: Mia Goodwin
Art by: Mia Goodwin
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 18, 2015
Publisher: Action Lab Comics
When the Weird Science Get Fresh Crew came up with the idea of "Just for the Hell of it Monday" reviews, it was all about taking one day to spread our wings and fly. Lately, however, I've been grounded by my busy schedule and complete dedication to laziness and have not been participating as much as I'd like too. There are so many non DC Comics that I'd love to read and review that it's sometimes hard to pick. Well, this book kind of fell in my lap...Action Lab Comics sent us a review copy. I took that as a sign or maybe just a promotions department doing their job and said, "What the Fuck, I'm doing it." So, here is my review of Tomboy...
Mia Goodwin begins her first issue with a cold opening full of mystery, darkness and blood...lots of blood. I hope that there are better days to come for the lead, Addison, because right now, things look pretty shitty. Covered in blood and holding one of those half-heart necklaces, she appears to be at the end of her rope when another woman, whose name is Iris and may or may not be a cop, approaches her and then points a gun in her general direction.
The solicit for this book promises it's perfect for fans of Batgirl and Spider-Gwen, but I disagree. It may share those books look to some extent, but this opening is way more mature than either of those could even pretend to be. It's moody and dangerous and refuses to hold your hand as you try to figure out it's world just as the lead character's world is crumbling around her.
We then go back in time (how far, I'm not sure) to Addison's birthday that also happens to be Halloween. Goodwin does a great job making Addison and her family so likable as they argue, annoy each other and... act like a family. We also learn that Addison's dad is a medical examiner and her boyfriend/best friend, Nick, hasn't been returning her calls. I have a bad feeling about this.
While I'm not going to tell you if my feelings were spot on, I will tell you that Goodwin does a great job developing her characters in a very short space. Whether it's Addison's pretty schoolmate, a bumbling rookie cop or a not so sensitive field hockey coach, everyone has their own unique personality. Of course, the best is saved for Addison and Goodwin uses a show don't tell policy to make the reader fall in love with her. She immediately felt like a little sister and those feelings made the rest of the issue that much better.
In case you couldn't tell from my review so far, this is a superhero comic. Goodwin takes her time to introduce the super part and because of the character development, it pays off in spades. Before you even know what's happening, you are right in the middle of a hero origin story that rivals the best (and most tragic). The how and why she becomes a hero is so well established and what is better is I'm not even sure she is a hero in the true sense of the word. Sure, I wanted her to do exactly what she did, but that doesn't mean it's right. Right? That might be what her grandfather is thinking as the issue closes.
Mia Goodwin gave readers everything they could want from a first issue...fleshed out and engaging characters that I want to see more of and a mysterious story that I can't wait to try to figure out. Like I said above, Goodwin is giving us more than I've been getting out of Batgirl recently or maybe ever.
Goodwin also does the art in this book and that may be the best part of it. It's a cartoony look that Gotham Academy fans will feel right at home with and it's such a great juxtaposition to the dark story. I don't know why I'm drawn to that sort of thing, but I am and this book mails it.
Bits and Pieces:
I really enjoyed this book. What appears to be a book aimed at preteen girls is really hiding a dark and dangerous superhero origin story of murder and revenge. It's mysterious and mature and pretty damn good. Mia Goodwin has a new fan.