I’d mentioned with Supernormal Step that I’d been reading the Q&A for a recent Sam and Fuzzy strip. One of the readers had stated that with S&F and Strong Female Protagonist ending, he was wondering if Sam Logan had any suggestions for replacement webcomics to read. Sam suggested the soon-to-start Speak of the Devil, by the artist of Supernormal Step, and Barbarous by Ananth Hirsch, Yuko Ota, and J.N. Wielde. Barbarous is only up to chapter 3, and I think it’s going to take a bit to really catch its stride. So, I decided to check out SFP in the meantime. I raced through the archives in about 2 days, and got up to the end of chapter 7 (over 100 pages per chapter). The comic is on hold until middle-late July, and then will start the last chapter. Given the current release schedule, it will probably wrap up in under two years.
SFP, by Brennan Lee Mulligan (writer) and Molly Ostertag (artist) follows the life of one Alison Green, formerly a super-powered crime fighter by the name of Mega Girl, but now mostly just a confused university student. Mega Girl had belonged to the Guardians group, with Sonar, Pintsize and Moonshadow, but had gotten disillusioned with doing stuff that largely could have been done by the police and/or the military, and outed herself on TV during an interview before focusing on her private life. Initially, the artwork was pretty shaky, and Alison was spending a lot of her time balancing her studies with having to fight enemies that didn’t like her just turning her back on them. As time passed, the artwork improved, and the themes switched to things like “who watches the watchmen,” “why are heroes more screwed up than the villains,” “fate versus free will” and “who looks out for the victims of people that don’t have superpowers (i.e. – victims of rape and domestic abuse).” SFP has a strong feminist bent, but does raise a lot of valid questions. It also gets preachy to the point of inflated self-importance, but eventually that passes and the story starts progressing to the end game again.
One of the main plot points is that some years ago, there was a series of unexplained big storms around the world, followed by babies, born a few years after, beginning to exhibit strange powers. While the government claimed that these powers were surfacing when the kids got to about 10 or 11, at least one (the primary supervillain, the telepathic Nemesis) turned super at age 4. The U.S. government, and maybe others, knew about the super kids early on, and none of the kids ever developed powers that would have benefited humanity as a whole (providing free energy, curing disease or solving world hunger), and there has to be a reason for that. In the final chapter, we may learn about what’s been going on behind the scenes, whether the supervillains are really the worst guys on the planet, and if Alison can finish university without turning all the normals – students and professors – against her.
Recommended, but I would like to know why Alison looks so much like Tintin with a really long neck.
Just as an aside, there was a strip that ran on GoComics, named Starling, by Sage Stosse, back in November. I couldn’t remember the name just off-hand, however, the early artwork in SFP reminded me a LOT of the GoComics comic, and the storyline is kind of similar. Starling is also an insecure ultra-strong super heroine, but she spends a lot of time in therapy and takes large amounts of anti-anxiety drugs, while trying to cope with a backstabbing coworker. The comic is worth checking out.