Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Book Review: Fantomah
Fantomah is a pretty problematic graphic novel for me. What it basically amounts to is a middle-aged Canadian guy trying to tell the story of a teenage Hispanic woman living in the inner city, while trying to incorporate (incorrectly, I might add) elements of Latin American folklore into the mix.
He's basically taken the story of a specter known as "La Llorona" (The Weeping Woman) and re-named her "La Fantomah," for some reason, though I have never heard her refereed to this way before, then attempted to turn her from a boogie-man type character meant to scare little Mexican kids into being good, into some kind of heroic, but also crazy and murderous entity out to save the lives of little kids.
The basic gist is that the local gang is kidnapping children, ostensibly to sell them into sex-trafficking. The protagonist's little sisters get kidnapped, the protagonist gets thrown in the river by her gang-member ex boyfriend while looking for the girls and she is somehow (though it's never explained how to any degree of satisfaction) becomes "La Fantomah" and can hear the prayers of people in crisis. She also becomes super strong, is able to fly and is invulnerable to bullets (though maybe only when she is La Fantomah and not when she reverts back to being human, though THAT is also not very clear). In the process of rescuing the kids, she goes on a massive killing spree of gang members and eventually encounters a demon (or maybe an alien? Who knows.).
A lot of the plot points are confusing and never fully explained, plus we don't get to know really ANYTHING about the main character before she becomes a revenge-ghost, or after for that matter, so it's pretty hard to know if we're supposed to be horrified or empathetic or what.
Fantomah is on shelves now, but leave it there, it's not really worth picking up.
2/5 bookmarks. The art is nice. Otherwise it's pretty bad.