Superhero comics have, for the most part, been the stomping ground of publishing titans Marvel and DC, but that doesn’t stop a number of indie creators from throwing their hat into metahuman storytelling arena. While the genre can be an uphill battle for indie creators, the pure fan passion that has been fermenting inside those who have spent years worshiping at the “cape and cowl” alter of the Big Two cannot always be contained, resulting in the birth of new, original, and, sometimes, flawed superheroes who must fly or fall on their own merits. Lady Phenom is one of these “newly born” indie superheroes. Published by The Superhero Network Entertainment Group, Lady Phenom #2 has recently been released, and while it builds upon the origin issue, adding some new and interesting elements, it still remains to be seen if Lady Phenom’s rough edges will keep the series from truly soaring with the fans.
As mentioned in FBC’s review of the premiere issue of Lady Phenom (link available below), the story centers around “Carolyn Quinn, a fighter pilot for the U.S Air force” who “disappears in a burst of light while flying her F-18 in a routine exercise and is gone for three months. When she reappears, she has distorted memories of an alien world.” In the second issue, Carolyn undergoes “several hypno-therapeutic techniques” and begins to remember (and relive, to a degree) her experiences during her missing three months and how it led to her alter-ego, Lady Phenom.
Creator/writer Paul Jamison’s concept, in many ways, feels inspired by the classic DC character, Green Lantern, but Lady Phenom is not so derivative that it can’t be enjoyed on its own. Jamison’s sci-fi superhero tale contains a number on interesting elements, including a galactic war between two alien species that threatens the destruction of Earth (One of the alien species has the ability to shape-shift and is using our planet as safe haven.), but the dialogue and plot points sometimes feel stiff, overly complex, and confusing. Given this and the presence of the occasional misspelled word and missing sound effect, I feel like the series could benefit from the addition of a good editor to the creative team.
While the artwork of Lady Phenom can be simplistic or crude at times, it is more often expressive and beautiful. Illustrator and colorist Mary Brigid Gillett may not have the extreme detail sometimes seen in today’s sequential art, but her art’s emotion resonates and elevates Jamison’s script, and her coloring is a solid, positive addition to the book.
FINAL VERDICT: Even though I have my own issues with the plot of Lady Phenom, the artwork is solid and it might be a story that will appeal to superhero fanatics, hungry for more. Given that the digital issues of Lady Phenom are only 99 cents each, if you’ve had your interest piqued by this review, I’d say it’s worth the price.
You can purchase copies of Lady Phenom #2 by visiting the Superhero Network Entertainment Group website.
You can also check out Fanboy Comics’ review of the first issue of Lady Phenom at the link below:
‘Till the end of the world,
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer