Thursday, March 28, 2019

[Comic Book Review] Black AF: America's Sweetheart by Kwanza Osajyefo, Jennifer Johnson, and Sho Murase

Can a black woman be America's first superhero?

Eli Franklin is a 15-year-old girl living in rural Montana - and she just happens to be the most powerful person on the planet. In the aftermath of the world learning that only black people have superpowers, Eli makes her debut as the superhero Good Girl, on a mission to help people and quell the fear of empowered blacks. When a super-terrorist threatens to take away everything Eli has worked toward, will donning a patriotic costume be enough for her to find acceptance?

America's Sweetheart expands BLACK into a universe of heroes.

* * *

This was such a fun superhero story! My fiancé originally picked this up and read it one day at our local library on his work break (it's super short, only about 80 pages) and said he thought I'd like it so he brought it home. And I am so glad he did because it was such a good read. Like all of my comic book or graphic novel reviews, this may be a short one because of the size of the book!

Eli is such an amazing main character and you automatically fall in love with her personality. I really loved seeing a young black girl being this badass superhero. I loved Eli's desire to not only save people but to just put good out into the world. She was so brave and eager to help people in need and I loved how honest and sweet she was. The moment when she gets her superhero costume is so great because she immediately puts it on and starts taking mirror selfies. She really acts her age in the best ways and I like that although she signs up for some big responsibility she still seems like a typical fifteen year old.

A lot of the commentary in terms of people with powers (black people) being seen as scary, mistrusting, or monsters by the people who don't have powers (white people) have obvious parallels to how black people are treated in our world. I think it was handled incredibly well and didn't feel too heavy handed. I hope this theme will be explored more in the next ones because I think it is an important one. 

My biggest problem with the comic book is that nothing that happens in the story is unique or something  I haven't seen before, which is a complicated problem. It's complicated because a lot of "overused tropes & themes" are only overused because they have been used with the majority of white main characters. Minorities are allowed to have stories that seem overused because they didn't get the chance to have those stories before. And I love the idea of young (or honestly any age) black girls or boys reading Eli's story and seeing themselves in her. So on one hand, nothing really jumped out at me, but on the other hand I am really happy this is out in the world for other readers who will fall in love with this story. 

Overall, I highly recommend this comic book. I think it's such a exciting story with an absolute sweet badass main character. I cannot wait to read the next one! 

Thanks for reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment