The Matriarch TPB (Arcana -Richardson / Yarbrough / Little / Pica)
As Leviathan City’s star super-heroine the Matriarch, Sherry tries to balance work and home-life against a backdrop of friends, foes, and potential love-interests; aggressive alien thoughts made manifest deep within the earth; an entire army of monsters and villains; and a secret so startling it could mean the end of the world as we’ve known it…and the beginning of something entirely new.
This trade collects the first three issues of The Matriarch. I had never been exposed to this title and for me the name conjured up images of some sort of supermom/ tongue-in-cheek humor. As it turned out, this was not the case. The Matriarch was written as a straight, almost traditional, take on the super-genre with the main character trying to balance being a single mom, a business woman and saving the city.
I was hoping that a top-of-the-heap independent press like Arcana could put a new spin on the “single super-mom” arch-type. Sadly, it turned out this also was not the case.
It’s not that it was poorly done, it wasn’t. Both the writing and art are competent, it’s just every character/scenario was reminiscent of something I had seen somewhere else. Heroes, side-kicks, villains, the disappointed son… all re-hashed archtypes. And you know, this isn’t always bad. Sometimes, it’s works for a series to do this, if there is understanding from the author that the comic knows it’s examining the genre. That is, if we as the readers know, that a satirical state-of-mind was attempted. But that didn’t happen here. Page after page, it was almost there for me, but this book never quite pushed past it’s own melodrama. There is even a scene at a “meta-bar” which made me hope for something half as interesting as out of “The Tick”, but this set-up with wonderful potential drizzled into another vanilla-istic scene. If you watched the first season of Heores, and you could understand Niki’s struggle to protect and mother Micah while still meet her own commitments and do right by the world… you have just cut through 3 issues and found the theme of The Matriarch.
Bottom Line: Family-friendly, soundly done but trite to the core.