Popova #1 Life After Death introduces a powerful set of characters who are affiliated with a female contingent that offer vengeance for their, female only, clientele. This creator owned and distributed title boasts a “Revenge fantasy comic book”, which “explores the idea of reversing society’s gender stereotypes”, and that “This is war. Man is the enemy”. The story is reminiscent of Kill Bill meets John Wick with fantastically strong feminine characters and one disenfranchised member that has done the unthinkable.
Our primary protagonist, Scarlet Rose, has broken the code by-which her Sister’s hold dear and has tried to escape persecution for her misdeed. Unfortunately, that oath is not easily undermined and the avidity of those she aggrieved will not easily be assuaged. Scarlett is pulled back into the world she has wronged and may need assistance from her abandoned protegé or the man who embodies the oppressor her sisterhood stands against. The writers Dres Torres and Alex Valdes lent authentic voices to there primarily female cast, methodically and deliberately molding their team of assassins and a back story that had me at the word “cyanide”. Expertly, Yasmin Liang illustrated this title in black and white, masterfully capturing the emotion and personality of each character. Upon reaching the last pages your are introduced to the cast of characters whereby Liang captures each characters personality in a single pose, impressively I felt I knew the voices that were about to come out of her characters mouths.
I found this issue to be extremely intriguing as I was pulled in immediately and flew through this issue consuming it with zeal. I would be remiss if I did not mention the first panel, which depicts a woman sitting in the shower staring at a dead body on her bathroom floor. This scene was a bit polarizing, as I anticipated a payoff throughout the entire issue, I even read the title several times to identify who that was. I have never witnessed a cliff-hanger on the first page but, if that was the intention of this creative team, brilliant. However, should we never learn the identities of these characters what a huge misstep, I prefer to believe the former.
I give this title 4 1/2 out of 5 stars, I think this creative team has a long way to go, as some of the dialog is a bit stiff and a story like this has the potential to become a bit contrived. With that said I am very happy with this title and look forward to meeting the rest of the eclectic team.