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Mara TP by Ming Doyle

Mara TP

by Ming Doyle (Artist), Brian Wood (Writer)

Other authors: Jordie Bellaire (Colors), Clayton Cowles (Letters)

Series: Mara (1-6)

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Showing 4 of 4
I am just not totally sure about this... The ending to this trade came up and I felt like a whole lot of random things had happened that didn't totally mesh together well.

The one thing I LOVED was the art! You better believe I will be looking up more of Ming Doyle's work. The composition was full of strong lines and everything from the scenery to the characters looked fierce. Totally beautiful.

Now, the story was a different matter. It was very choppy and all over the place. I wasn't crazy about the random moments of omniscient narrative. There were several plot lines that I am sure think might possibly show up again in later issues, but by the end I felt bored with Mara and the whole story. Which is exactly what I didn't want to feel. The beginning was addictive, but as the issues went on, I continued to lose interest due to confusing narration and story lines.

Probably won't pick up this particular series again, but I will definitely be looking for more of Doyle's artwork.

Copy courtesy of Diamond Book Distributors, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  GoldenDarter | Sep 15, 2016 |
I liked Mara quite a lot: it's great that we've got a queer woman of colour in a comic like this, where neither of those things define her. I like the lead-in here: it doesn't come across like a superhero comic in the first issue or so; that had me wondering what the pace would be like and whether I'd want to stick with it. Normally, Carol Danvers or Steve Rogers would've punched something by now, after all. Still, I loved the look of the comic, aside from the slightly weird fact that Mara's white on the cover. The lines and colours all look great.

As the story develops, it becomes a bit more typical. Mara develops superhuman powers, the military gets interested, people want to experiment on her family to see if she's the only one, etc. I only vaguely remember the bit in >Watchmen that people compare Mara's reaction to, but I do agree that actually, it's a really similar character arc. What makes it different is the character. The origin stories of superheroes are often compared to adolescence; their secret identities to being 'in the closet'. But there's no mystique about that with Mara, so where does that take the superhero narrative, if it's an allegory?

I'd need to look at more of the literature and reread at least Watchmen for comparison to really talk about that, but it interests me nonetheless. Mara's story seems to tell us that for her, it's not adolescence or having a girlfriend or being a person of colour that sets her apart. Partly it's fame, as the first couple of issues show us, but characters like Ingrid share that spotlight. Worth pondering. ( )
  shanaqui | Jul 27, 2014 |
A quick flip through the book told me that it was dystopian sci-fi volleyball, and that was enough reason to take it home from the library. I recognized Brian Wood's name, because I've liked him on some things, but not so much on others.

The story starts by grounding title character Mara into a world of expensively-sponsored high-stakes sports in a world that drafts children for sports and war, but Mara herself seems to care more about her brother and her friend and teammate than she cares about the politics of sponsorship. I guess it's because of this solid grounding that I found the second half of the book was a bit too emotionally adrift. It's a great concept, and I can see the bones of a story in there that I would have loved, but it didn't quite come together for me.

Would I recommend it despite the ending? Yes. But I still mourn for the story it maybe could have been.
1 vote terriko | Feb 17, 2014 |
I got a copy of this graphic novel as an eGalley to review through NetGalley(dot)com. I actually liked this graphic novel quite a bit.

Future Earth is focused on two things: war and sports. From a very young age kids are put in camps to train for one or the other. Mara is placed in a volleyball camp at a very young age. Mara is the world’s best volleyball player, and she’s living the high life...until something happens during a match that makes it look like Mara cheated. As sponsors drop her and Mara’s way of life falls apart, she continues to develop more and more powerful super powers. The more powers she develops the less human she becomes and humanity as a whole begins to fear and hate her.

The illustration throughout this graphic novel is really well done. I love that Mara is illustrated as an athlete and not as a disproportionate female. She’s beautiful and parties some, but mostly she is a tough lean athlete. It was nice to have a female character in a graphic novel that isn’t objectified but really looks like the athlete she is.

I loved the world as well. It is a bit dystopian and definitely science fiction. I was surprised at how well the world was built in this graphic novel, there’s not a lot of space here for world-building.

Mara is also a very interesting character. She’s a hard-worker, determined, like to have fun sometimes, and is completely thrown when her body starts to have strange new powers. Watching her change from hard-working athlete to something that is incredibly powerful and almost non-human was interesting. She goes from scared to angry to totally ambivalent to humanity's opinion of her.

Watching the reaction to the world as Mara changed to something completely alien to them was also intriguing. As you can imagine it’s not pretty. You see the best and the worst of humanity here. I loved that there is some humor as well to counterbalance the darkness to this story.

The graphic novel ends well, but the reader ends up having more questions than answers at the end of it all.

Overall I found this graphic novel to be surprisingly enjoyable. I loved the world built here and loved watching how drastically Mara changes throughout the story, I also enjoyed watching the world’s very public reaction to Mara’s developing super powers. I would love to read more about Mara in future installments and find out more about the why and how behind her story. I would recommend this book to graphic novel fans of science fiction and super heros. ( )
  krau0098 | Dec 1, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Doyle, MingArtistprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wood, BrianWritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Bellaire, JordieColorssecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cowles, ClaytonLetterssecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Compilation of the issues 1-6 of the comic Mara.
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