Writer(s): Brian Michael Bendis & David Walker / Artist: Jamal Campbell / DC Comics
Although I refuse to subject myself to another one of those CW “Arrowverse” shows that stays on the air longer than its value demands, I am glad Naomi exists. A young, Black girl largely unburdened by decades of DC comic history that a writer is suddenly saddled with memorizing out of fear of Twitter…is precisely what the industry needs. And so, after a three year wait, Brian Michael Bendis and David Walker bless us with the next chapter in Naomi McDuffie’s journey.
This isn’t an action heavy issue and maybe that’s a good thing. We’ve seen plenty of her in action through other titles. Naomi: Season Two #1 takes a far more intimate look at our heroine’s home life. Bendis makes an interesting decision to devote the lion’s share of the issue to examining how the events of Season One and everything after has changed things for her personally. Naomi’s relationship with her family is as stressful for them as it is for her. It comes across very reminiscent of what Smallville attempted to be in its first season, taking a great deal of the “super” out of the superhero genre while still self-aware enough to not run from the sci-fi elements that brought us here in the first place. The best part of the book is probably Naomi going to therapy. But the real kicker isn’t really her going but in questioning whether or not therapy is actually growing her personally. Jamal Campbell has been highkey doing some of the best artwork of his career in this series. Every panel is vivid and exciting in a book where there’s little or no action to speak of. It’s not easy to hold a reader’s attention in such an exposition heavy book, and Campbell pulls it off effortlessly.
Bottom Line: Naomi: Season Two #1 is headed in an intimate heartfelt direction I hope becomes the norm for this series going forward. Naomi is going to have plenty of opportunities in the DC Universe to punch bad guys. This book is where we should be seeing the girl behind the powers.
9 CW trailers out of 10