Wasn’t it just in 2008 when we had The New York Four, another book only about women? Did we already need another book, just about chicks? If you can’t smell the sarcasm, yes. We, as creators and readers needed The New York Five. There is a limited audience willing to read books about super-powered guys in capes and super-shapely women in bikinis – despite what some would like us to believe. Yeah, sure, capes books keep selling but that’s because people expect nothing less or nothing more from American comic books. But there are more stories out there – just walk up and down the small press or even artist alley aisles of a comic book convention and you’ll see that there’s more to be read. But these stories should not be, don’t need to be relegated to the sometimes barely-walked areas of our retail lives.
So, yes, we need big names like Brian Wood to write and publish stories like The New York Five. Stories about women, relatively normal women that have average lives and don’t fight criminals any worse than an inconsiderate boyfriend. Besides, as creative people, we should be able to tell stories about anything – regardless of the medium – artist or writer. And so it is on the shoulders of the creator to tell new and interesting stories outside their comfort zone so that we can reach untapped audiences.
With The New York Five, Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly do a great job establishing interesting and mostly realistic characters, telling a compelling follow up to The New York Four, a book I thoroughly enjoyed. I feel like I should have not point this out but in the overly cape-saturated world of comic books, it is almost a must – the women of The New York Five are strong, beautiful, sexy and important. All that without lifting cars, without showing cleavage, without wearing bikinis in war, and without saving the world. They are simply women that live their lives in a complicated, often chaotic and confusing world. This is a well-created graphic novel that I hope is a sign of the future.