Startup #1.1

startup1
Written by Darin Henry
Drawn by Craig Rousseau
Published by Sitcomics

This is the story of a woman named Renee Garcia-Gibson. She’s a 33 year old single mother living in Philadelphia with her 12 year old son, Malcolm, and her elderly mother Rosa, while she works as a court stenographer. Renee is a good-natured woman who just so happens to be very overweight. She’s 300 lbs, and throughout the day we see the multiple little slights she faces from multiple people because of this. Her son’s classmates giggle at her when she drops him off for school, which embarrasses him, and random people on the street also make snide and rude comments about her. At her job, she harbors a crush on the handsome prosecutor she sees in court (where they put super-villains on trial for their crimes) but he, of course, doesn’t even notice her. Nevertheless, Renee is determined to keep her head up. At one point she talks about her struggle to lose weight “it’s tough, but I’m determined to be tougher.”

Things take a turn when Renee is a bystander during a fight on the street between a superhero named Raider and a supervillain named Crunch. Renee almost becomes a victim in the carnage that ensues, but Raider saves her, albeit with some difficultly due to Renee’s hefty frame. This is all caught on camera, making Renee feel like an even bigger laughing stock. Then she’s a approached by a strange man who claims to be a scientist who has invented a way to help people lose weight in minutes.

Without spoiling the particulars, pretty soon Renee finds herself not only skinny, but with superhuman powers of speed and strength which she is forced to use to fight a supervillain and squad of his henchman. And, in the end, a new superhero is born!

First, forget modern-day “decompression”, Darin Henry gives a complete story told in one issue, which is satisfying on its own while also leaving several seeds open to want us to learn more. Where excels is in his characterization of Renee. We see that she’s a strong woman on the inside, but we can also see how the multiple slings against her from society because of her appearance can start to wear you down. This makes a Renee an easily relate-able character, grounded in reality.

And Craig Rousseau draws the comic very well. Especially when it comes to Renee, he doesn’t overdo it in either form. By that I mean, as the comic starts he draws her as a big, but not a comically “big fat person,” nor does he suddenly draw her like a stereotypical “sexy babe” when she transforms. He and Darin Henry make a great creative team. I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to seeing more adventures about this new Latina superhero.

A

 

Startup #1.1

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