I love when a book surprises me. The Magdalena Volume 1 was just such a trade paperback. I’d seen the title and the main character before but I’d been put off by the previous incarnations with mid-drift showing costumes that seemed more appropriate for a strip-tease act than combat. So one day, I’m at a convention and I walk past the official Top Cow where they are practically giving away trade paperbacks. I stop, take a look and The Magdalena is one of the books I can get for a great price – I’m in.
So, I got it cheap, and I was at a convention which means The Magdalena Volume 1 went on my stack of books to be read later. So it was a few months later that I sat down and started reading the book. From page 1, I was far more impressed than I had ever expected to be. It was action packed, it had that strong, battle-ready female lead, it had suspense and it had a certain efficiency about the writing and art. It was certainly mainstream art and writing but it was in many ways, exactly where mainstream comics need to be right now.
OK, I’ve gloated about this book and I honestly believe that it’s really good – especially in the way that they dress their main character for battle and not a peep show. To some degree, they’ve proven that a book can have a sexy character, physically and mentally but not show excessive amounts of flesh – when she is dressed for battle. Since they’ve dressed her so conservatively for combat in this book, they’ve found a new way to write in gratuitous flesh-peddling. Each issue has at least one page where the main character flashes a good bit of skin. Given the book’s positive aspects and understanding that in the comic book industry, there is a need to sell books, I can forgive these transgressions and for now, I’ll keep reading the book and I look forward to other trade paperbacks.