What happens when the writer of one of my favorite Superman stories joins forces with BW’s virtual mentor to create a webcomic that took all of the good parts of Wonder Woman that DC’s abandoned and turns it into a school story? It gets a long overdue Spotlight feature.
Amazon Academy, written by Dan Miskin with art by Jerzy Drozd, is a webcomic in which an American all-girls boarding school is started by Amazons living in New York City. With the tagline “every girl has her secrets”, the first chapter and a prologue are already up on the website. As of this writing the story is taking a bit of a break, at least in part because Jerzy is in the process of moving, so now is a good time to check it out. So let’s check it out.
Thirteen years ago in New Mexico, a woman is on the run from Greek soldiers. How? Why? That’s one of the secrets. She manages to get a baby away from them where the girl is found by a wolf. Cut to modern day New York, where Amazons have revealed their existence and created a boarding school to teach American girls the ways of the Amazon and perhaps learn a thing or two from them as well. Not every Amazon is happy about it and one of the new students isn’t even a girl due to a mix-up. What adventures and misadventures will these girl and the boy get into (this isn’t Japan so I’m hoping the usual “boys in a girl school/mixed school for the first time” naughty hi-jinks don’t rear up) and what secrets will be revealed? Well, the Pegasus on the cover is real, one of the girls seems to have magic of some kind, and did I mention some of the teachers are goddesses? This is not going to be your ordinary boarding school.
This first chapter introduces a unique bunch of characters. Jordan, the aforementioned X-Chromosome, will be staying with the handyman and Pegasus wrangler Festus, who even the bitchy girl Theodora respects despite her hatred of boys and Americans. (The expression on her face when Festus tells her off is just the best.) I’m hoping he doesn’t turn out to be transgender or something not because I don’t want to see a transgender character–that might actually be interesting down the line since I don’t otherwise see it in this cast–but because at this stage I think it would be a cop out to make the lone boy see himself as a girl if that’s his secret. Jordan’s arc appears to be needing to learn confidence and maybe with the help of Festus and a group of warriors and warrior goddesses as his instructors, Jordan will “man up” while avoiding the “toxic masculinity” problem. (There is a difference between masculinity and toxic masculinity.) If it seems like I’m focusing too much on the one boy it’s because being the one boy stands out and I am curious how he’ll be used in the story since this is an all-girls boarding school and Jordan is only there because Jennie, who I’m expecting to be the most interesting of the group, convinced them to keep their word. The comic would have been fine without him but having him here may have possibilities. (Imagine if the series ends with Jordan and Theodora dating. :D) It’s also the second most interesting scene in the first chapter, the Pegasus of course hitting the top spot. It’s too soon to select a favorite character, but I’m hoping Jordan, Rose, and Jennie will be besties. Speaking of boys, I’m hoping the anti-girl Paul brother stand-ins aren’t going to show up again. They didn’t seem to have much of a point except to be the one thing Theodora does that I liked. Maybe it shows she isn’t all bad, or why she hates boys? I think she’s going to be the big antagonist in this series.
Then there’s the rest of the cast. Theodora did find one American girl she likes, the rather rude Maia who appears to be the one with magic powers of some kind. Theodora’s arc will be obvious the moment you meet her and it isn’t just her broken English. Maia and the rest I’m not as sure about just now. The secretive Iphigena, aka Jennie, is my pick for the baby from earlier and has already shown signs of her secret as well as an inability to get along with others that rivals me, although I’m closer to Jordan in that regard. (Maybe that’s why I talked so much about him. I kind of see myself in him.) She’s also willing to stand up to Theodora on Jordan’s behalf, as does the superstrong Rose. Other characters are namedropped–fellow students Sophie and Franny as well as administrator Penelope, but these are the ones who have already shown the array of characters we’ll be meeting. Whether they’re the main cast and the others merely support of if they have their own story arcs we have yet to learn as of this writing.
The art is good, as I would expect given how often the artist has come up on this site over the years, including other works he’s done that I’ve reviewed. There’s a wide variety of cast members and each look unique, Jennie and Rose being the only ones even remotely similar but that may just be a similar ancestry. Time will tell. If you want to check out the comic, and you should, head to their website. If you sign up to the e-mail list you’ll even get a special secret something that I won’t reveal because I’m not sure they’d want me to. They have revealed some potential events to follow though:
- talismans of power
- Theodora and Jennie in a javelin face-off
- a dangerous field trip
- divine mischief
- a new riddle of the Sphinx
- and the deepening mystery of the Amazons!
So go to the site and start following. I’ll even start you right off on page one. Enjoy and see if you guess their secrets before they’re revealed.