- Posted by Johanna on December 11, 2007 at 9:40 pm
- Category: Superhero Reviews
- PUBLISHER: DC Comics
My Favorite Superhero Story of 2007 appeared in Welcome to Tranquility #11.
Ignore the lead story. I’m talking here about the six-page backup “Right to Left, Back to Front” by Gail Simone and Irene Flores. That’s the phrase the heroine uses to describe herself, about how she feels every day. She’s got a normal family, no traumatic events in her background, but she knows she’ll never be “popular, funny, beautiful.” In other words, she’s a teenager like many of us were.
Since this is set in Tranquility, she’s got energy growths coming out of her back, but that’s not terribly unusual for her town. (In fact, I’m really stretching the definition of “superhero story” here.) Her life truly changes when she finally discovers a comic that speaks to her: a magical girl manga. From her monologue:
I’d never read a manga before. I’d tried regular comics… goofy nonsense about flying musclemen and trampy women without personalities. But this! This was transformative.
It inspires her to read and reach out and learn. Japanese, kanji, karate, and sumie (a style of painting). She’s no longer afraid of the world or other people because her love of her hobby envelops her. What’s wonderful about this story is the way it captures the way the right book can change someone’s world and shape their personality for the better.
And at the end, she wants to become a manga artist. The story begets creativity in others.