Fishnet Angel #1

Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2005
By: Steve Saville

Cover of Fishnet Angel #1

Creators: Sean Taylor [story and letters] JP Dupras [art]
Publisher: Shooting Star Comics
Address: 5665 Hwy. 9, Suite 103-140, Alpharetta, GC, 30004, USA.
Price: $2.99(US)

So we have a guy who has lost his memory trapped in the body of a woman. He was previously engaged to another woman and now wakes up to discover that he/she is pregnant. Confusing? Heck you don't know half of it; we haven't even got to the stuff about the ancient civilization that wants their goddess back yet.

Fishnet Angel is one of the successful characters from the highly regarded Shooting Star Comics Anthology bursting forth here to command his/her own comic. A well deserved promotion too. What we have here is the first part of a story called "Jane Doe" and a complex little tale it proves to be.

In the hands of a less able writer the multi levels going on here would prove to be too much and so it is a tribute to the writing abilities of Sean Taylor that the story develops and works as well as it does. The pace is perfect and the character/reader confusion is well maintained. It borders on, but is always prevented from, becoming too bewildering. The prose origins story that concludes this comic helps clear up many of the lingering questions posed by the comic itself.

If you still yearn for the first series of X –Files then I can imagine this comic appealing to you. Mark the main character bravely attempts to save his fiance's life but in doing so finds himself playing host to the life force of the warrior goddess of a long lost civilization [as you do]. So Mark is now a woman, unfortunately he has lost his memory [apart for some disturbing little nightmares and flashbacks] and is pregnant. To make matters worse the long lost civilization have turned up with their hordes of beetle creatures to reclaim their goddess [Ashtanyaka] who they seem to love and hate in equal measure. The fiance [Andi] features in their plans, which can't be a good thing.

So by the time we hit page 22 our heads are spinning as much as that of Mark the pregnant amnesiac cum ancient goddess. The final page, which is spectacular, sends us a clear message that things "ain't gonna" improve in a hurry either.

As I have already said this is a masterful piece of story telling, original, creative and controlled. The fact that we actually identify with Mark and the rest of the characters who inhabit his female body is a testimony to how well written this tale is. I don't know whether I want him to regain his memory or not, the shock could finish the poor guy off. Jeez and I think that my life can be confusing.

The artwork is also a real treat. For the purist there may be too much white in some of the frames but for me it merely adds to the appeal of the comic. The pages set in the city of the lost civilization are breath taking and a real visual highlight. The only criticism I can make is that the cover fails to do justice to what a treat lies within.

Overall the approach is patient as artist and writer work carefully to allow us to share Mark's confusion but still understand enough to maintain our interest. I really enjoyed this comic; I just don't want to spend too much time thinking about why.

In a Word: enGENDERed

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