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Faces of Color

Faces of Color: Webcomic MAGELLAN

Sunday, December 14, 2008

This past week & weekend, I've had the chance to look over some pretty interesting webcomics. I think I may add a section where I just link to all the ones I'm reading. I'm being oddly comforted by them in the wake of well, Bendis NuMarvel and D-whatthefuckaretheydoingnow-C.

This Faces of Colour I'd like to point to a web comic called Magellan. First page here.

Magellan follows the life of a non superpowered young woman named Kaycee Jones who's going into her first year at what's basically Superhero College - Magellan Academy; which trains the heroes of tomorrow. So it's kind of like a female Batman going to 'Sky High'. The universe already has it's equivalent to Xavier's for those who don't want to go into superheroing as a career but would rather become police officers, doctors or even just accountants.

Kaycee's smart, and in tip-top physical condition. But she's having to deal with friends, fellow students and faculty members wondering if a non-powered individual can really cut it in the school. And most of all, she's having to deal with something of a 'Batman Effect' - as those same individuals wonder if the impetus that started her on the road towards becoming an official hero won't lead her instead down the path to vigilantism (which is phrased in this world as taking the law into one's own hands usually with bloody ends). Even as I cheered Kaycee on, I loved that she lives in a world where those sort of questions are asked. Where heroes need psychiatric evaluations. Where there's the knowledge that with great power, often comes the need for training and learned stress management skills.

Now, while I do not believe Kaycee's white; British Descended Australians can get fairly tanned; Magellan still qualifies for Faces of Colour because of Kaycee's hero, the Aboriginal Australian - Go!Anna. Go!Anna's plot twists through Kaycee's for a goodly portion of the long arc, making her not just someone's inspiration in the world, but a current driving force of plot and exposition. I got two major heroines in one plot arc.

And if I don't discount Kaycee's first year class mates, who run the gambit in skin-tone, nationality and ability - I have several other heroines and heroes to follow as well.

But it's more than just seeing Superheroes of Colour, or an interracial couple where neither partner is white. It's seeing those characters with plausible motivations, male and female. It's seeing a world brought to life. It's seeing Superheroes based somewhere other than the USA. And it's seeing the ripple affect of all actions, those heated and those we think coldly calculated. Ripple affects are another thing I'm a sucker for.

I also love ensemble pieces. I love X-men because of the ensemble. I loved Buffy and Angel for the ensemble action. I love seeing teammates grow together, learn together and get closer. Magellan gave me all of that in it's archives. It's a very rich world, with a 'gathering of the new generation' vibe going on and wonderful nods to the old heroes and a broader universe. The first long arching plot is finished now and something new (a crossover with another web comic) has just begun;So there's plenty to read to get you hooked on this world.

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