Street Angel by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca and from SLG Publishing is the most over-the-top and grounded book you’ll ever read about a Ninja-trained, skateboarding, homeless Chick. Like the “I’m the best there is at what I do…” Wolverine excerpt that Street Angel quotes at the beginning of its first issue, this title has it’s own mantra: Orphaned by the world, raised by the streets, Jesse Sanchez is a dangerous martial artist and the world’s greatest homeless skateboarder. When it is repeated, at least once every issue, it’s never quite the same but the meaning certainly comes through; Jesse is a complicated character with aspects from both ends of the spectrum and this makes Street Angel an excellent read.
In the first couple issues/chapters of Street Angel, Sanchez is a badass fending off villainous basketball-playing ninjas, dastardly scientists and pillaging pirates. She has her shortcomings but she is ultimately as ass-kicking as any mainstream superhero from The Big 2. These first couple issues would/could be cliche if Rugg’s writing did not nearly expressly point out its own self awareness, that it was in fact commenting on the excess of badassery in comics. In the end though, what makes Sanchez AKA Street Angel an amazing character is her humanity that is so particular to her.
Street Angel is not only a dangerous martial artist and the world’s greatest homeless skateboarder, she is also an orphan and homeless, two qualities that are rarely played into mainstream comics – because they are difficult and unglamorous subjects. However, Rugg proves some serious writing talent in issue/chapter 04 of Street Angel when he essentially writes a “no action” drama about a young endearing, homeless girl played by our otherwise badass hero, Street Angel. In this holiday season when we are reminded of the less fortunate, I had to take a deep breath at the end of this issue, to swallow my own heartbreak. With Street Angel, I’ve found 2 new creators, Rugg and Maruca that I will look to read more of.