Written by Brian Wood
Art by Ming Doyle, Jordie Bellaire
Release Date: June 19, 2013
Mara returns after a brief pause with the fifth installment of the series that has been very guarded from the beginning. The style remains the same, with us very slowly getting information about Mara’s thoughts and mental space through her actions as much as anything. Wood does an excellent job throughout the issue of not simply making Mara a Superman archetype, though her powers appear to be relatively similar. The similarity in powers allows us to focus not so much on what Mara can do, but moreso what she is doing with her powers. Mara has been scorned by the planet who once adored her, and is now once again attempting to cash in on her fame. She is lashing out like an angry teen, acting without thought of consequence, and irresponsible driver behind the wheel of an extremely robust power set. Wood captures a reality very well in this issue of what happens when the military attempts to control the extremely powerful superhuman and the subject doesn’t just brush off the dust and still attempt to be altruistic. At this point we have no idea if Mara is just going to kill off humanity and be done with it all or not, and that makes this series dynamic and interesting. Wood’s slow-burn of a script is all coming to a head with the last page setting up what should be an explosive finale to this very well written series.
And as well scripted as this comic is, the art is really what makes it soar. This issue features less dialogue than most of the rest of the series, letting Ming Doyle’s fantastic layouts and Jordie Bellaire’s brilliant colours tell much of the story. Doyle’s pencils are sharp and there is an immense amount of story told with subtle aspects in Doyle’s pencils. For example, Mara’s eyes are on fire throughout much of the issue, filled with a spark of mischief, rage, and explosive and raw power that heightens the tension throughout the comic because you really do not know what she may do next. With Bellaire’s colours, the art has so much energy and dynamicism that it jumps from the panel, creating a comic that is as visually engaging as it is well written, and a great blend of imagery and script.
Mara #5 has the series primed for an explosive ending and it does a great job of pushing this series forward. This is a creative team I would love to see reunite for any project under the sun down the road, as they are so in sync with this issue that it would be a shame to not see them work again in the future.