Apr 9, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 774: Menace #1, November 1998


I wish, given that this is the kick off comic to my fortnight celebrating African-American creators in comics, that I could say that this is an amazing piece of work, life-changing, paradigm-shifting.

I really, really wish I could.

But it's not. This comic is just bad.

As you see up above, the comic's written by Jada Pinkett Smith - I figured a bit of celebrity power might start things off auspiciously. What we basically get, though, is a retread of The Crow, with the main character a street thug who is gunned down and then given a chance to repent her wicked ways as Menace, the Dark Angel. Fraga's art is pretty run of the mill Awesome/Extreme/Maximum stuff, and though Smith's script has potential, it was edited by Rob Liefeld, whose sense of storytelling leaves something to be desired. Alas, this one issue represents Menace's sole appearance, and the only comic Smith has written to date.

What does make this comic stand out, though, is that it's one of very, very few I've been able to find in my collection written by a Woman of Colour. This is not to say it's the only one. There are numerous comics written by women in the collection, and I'm not privy to the appearances of most. Comics are a bit like 1970s rock music - no one knows what the creators of it look like. But for the next two weeks, Ms. Smith is the only female representation.

Hopefully tomorrow's comic will be a bit better. To be continued!

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