(MC Comics, 2013)
Written & Drawn by Michael Carmean
Seraphic is the first comic in what will likely be a superhero series. Like most Issue # 1’s, Seraphic #1 takes us through what a normal day looks like for its protagonist, Jill, before her whole world is turned upside down. I love how Carmean lets his reader know from the start that something is terribly wrong. On Page 1 Panel 2, Jill says; “I don’t know how I can even be awake after last night. Man. Was it rough. I can’t believe I had to wash bloody sheets in the middle of the night again!” Well now you are hooked. What’s wrong with Jill? The reader is soon informed that she has back pains and is taking medication that doesn’t seem to be helping. It is also around this time that you discover she is an athlete with a very important match that day. As we all know, pain and athletics don’t go well together and we can see why she is concerned. Like most athletes though, Jill pushes through the pain and goes about her day: morning run, high school (where we find out she is valedictorian), and her tennis match. Halfway through showing us Jill’s day, the point of view switches to that of a scientific research facility. It is here that we discover that Jill isn’t all she, or the reader, thought she was.
Shortly before the scene at the research facility, we learn that Jill had been in foster care, and was eventually adopted. As you have probably figured out, her adoption wasn’t all she thought. The reader has just learned that Jill is actually her “parents’” test subject – and the test isn’t going well. All that we know is that Jill didn’t take to the genetic change. Her father is told that Jill needs to be terminated.
Back with Jill, we see Jill taking a shower. From this angle, we learn why Jill’s back hurts so much; it is completely torn up and bruised. It is my belief that we have this shower scene for no other reason than to see Jill’s back, because for the life of me, I can’t figure out why she would take a shower before going and playing tennis. Seriously. Who takes a shower before going and getting all hot and sweaty? After a quick break up with her boyfriend, we are at the tennis match where Jill is in so much pain she can barley lift her racket. With one giant scream of pain…..end of Issue #1.
As you can see, a basic, yet effective story line for Issue #1. I felt that Carmean did a great job bringing his reader into the comic and only gave us the information that we needed to know. However, I had one really big issue with this comic – and that was Jill. Jill’s character was nothing more than the cookie–cutter female protagonist that we always see. She’s pretty, smart, has a jerk for a boyfriend, a male best friend that’s too good for her, and she is way to self-absorbed. I could not stand her! I get that Carmean probably did this particular character style because it is common and he probably has no idea how a teenage girl thinks. Now this is an issue because for the most part, this whole comic takes place in Jill’s head. It’s Jill’s inner dialog that drives this story. And right now, Jill is the kind of character I would expect to find in a romance book, not the protagonist of a superhero comic. I really hope we see a change in Jill over the next few comics.
Seraphic is a really cool idea and I think it could make an awesome superhero series. The world knows we can use some more superhero comics with female protagonists. However, if Jill doesn’t change, I fear that that the comic will fall flat and be written off as why female superheroes shouldn’t have their own comic -and I would hate to see that.
Ali is a creative writer with an emphasis on Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Comic Books. She first fell in love with superheroes when they were used to teach her to read. When not practicing at her dojo or out seeing the latest superhero movie with her friends, Ali can be found curled up on the couch with her dog and a good book.