“What does your anger look like”- Maw #1
The world isn’t fair. Justice is more like a fairy tale than anything resembling reality, and with an unfair world comes rage, a lot of it. We tend to see rage as this horrible feeling, which, to be honest, isn’t the case. Which doesn’t mean it’s a beautiful thing or something like that. It just means that anger and rage are a lot more complex and more transformative than we might think. These are some of the things we can see in Maw.
Maw is a new horror mini-series written by Jude Ellison S. Doyle, art by A. L. Keplan, Colors by Fabian Mascolo and Federica Mascolo, and letters by Cardinal Rae. It tells the story of Marion, who is dragged into a female retreat by her sister Mandy, trying to give her a new perspective and some empowerment, things she seemingly can only get from a drink. But after Marion is the victim of a horrible assault, things take a turn and awakening something in Marion that starts a violent transformation.
The first thing that caught my eye in this comic was the way it’s colored. Fabian Mascolo (with the assistance of Federica Mascolo) uses colors in a way that really enhances the story. One example of this is how Mandy’s redshirt really contrasts with the rest of the color palette, while Marion’s black outfit makes her less noticeable, even with a bright background. This is such a great way to make the reader familiar with the characters without tons of boring exposition. There are a lot more moments where colors are used to strengthen the atmosphere and tone of a scene. I will always appreciate this in a comic.
The art itself is also pretty amazing. Kaplan’s use of shadows, facial expressions, and body language does a really great job of telling the story, making the readers feel the emotions permeating the scene. There is a flashback that is extremely charged with emotion. But due to the nature of the scene, feeling them without being there could be a challenge if it wasn’t for Kaplan’s fantastic job.
All that being said, if I had to choose a favorite thing about this comic, it would be the way it explores the themes of injustice, violence, and rage. This comic doesn’t hold any punches, it’s pretty raw and will make you feel extremely mad at the world, and I think that’s good. We should be mad at the world when looking at the right reasons. Thinking that there isn’t any more violence against women anymore is either naivety or voluntary denial of the facts. The way the system continues to run over the many women that have been victims of violence is just terrifying. Maw takes these problems and puts them right in your face, making you really think about it. There are some moments where Doyle’s dialogue will make your blood boil. I’m thankful for that.
Maw #1 is an outstanding introduction to what looks to be a shocking and important story. The creative team uses everything the medium of comics can give you and uses it to create a comic that will make you see through the effects of rage and the ways of power. I truly believe this is the start of one of the most important series in comics right now.