Review: Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan & Molly Ostertag

May 17, 2015 Book, Reviews 4 ★★★★

Review: Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan & Molly OstertagStrong Female Protagonist: Book One by Brennan Lee Mulligan, Molly Ostertag
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comics & Graphic Novels, Superheroes, Young Adult
Published by Top Shelf Productions on 2014-10-08
Source: Netgalley
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With superstrength and invulnerability, Alison Green used to be one of the most powerful superheroes around. Fighting crime with other teenagers under the alter ego Mega Girl was fun until an encounter with Menace, her mind reading arch enemy. He showed her evidence of a sinister conspiracy, and suddenly battling giant robots didn't seem so important.Now Alison is going to college and trying to find ways to help the world while still getting to class on time. It's impossible to escape the past, however, and everyone has their own idea of what it means to be a hero.Strong Female Protagonist has been published online since 2012, where it attracted a large fan base, and earned positive reviews on sites such as io9, ComicsAlliance, The Beat, and ThinkProgress. After a successful Kickstarter, Brennan and Molly now bring their series to print, with a book collecting the first four chapters and bonus material, self-published by the authors and distributed by Top Shelf.

Strong Female Protagonist was an interesting comic about superheroes. Told between past and present events, we get to meet Allison Green, ex-superhero by the alias of Mega Girl. With super strength and invulnerability, she fought crime, defeated villains, and destroyed robots. Until one day she faced her ultimate enemy that revealed a much bigger enemy than the usual comic books one that made her think of her life choices and the future.

This comic isn’t about superheroes, not entirely. It used superheroes as a channel to give the message that we can all be superheroes in different ways and not necessarily with spandex suits and flying through the air.

I loved Allison, how she tried to lead a normal life but couldn’t help but get involved in trying to help people in any way she could, either by defeating the bad guys or some other bad guys by protesting among other normal humans. The story also tackled another kind of hero with the character named Feral. She looked like a monster and had the ability to regenerate any body part. Wanting to give back something to the world, she endured several surgical procedures daily without any anesthesia to take out body parts for donations. She wanted to help, but sacrificing herself in such a way wasn’t the way. But I admired her character greatly for how she went from being not-such-a-good-sport to someone who wanted to redeem herself.

A lot of the things that happen by the end is about this, about redemption and how sometimes we can’t control things that happen to us and sometimes we can. And how a person can become tired of the things around them too and become “the bad guy”, or more specifically, just human, with both good and bad in them.

I enjoyed reading this comic and really hope to read more of it in the future. The drawings were spectacular and I would laugh at the commentary in each page by the artist/writer (not sure which). It involved a lot of the action of superhero comics but also dealt with social problems we face every day and how we deal with them. And I loved Allison so much! She really was a strong female protagonist having to stand the hate of people, the admirers, the responsibilities of being a college student, and her family and friends, not to mention the unexpected demons of her past. It’s definitely not all butterflies and rainbows.

I really recommend this one for anyone looking for a fresh kind of comic with tons of insightful things as well as humor, action, sci-fi, and great art. Can’t wait to know what happens next!

Rating: 4 stars

Rating Report
Overall: 4

Check out Marianne’s review on this title by clicking here!

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I'm Jennifer. Addicted reader, and lover of books. I'm a full-time college student majoring in English Liturature and Linguistics & Communication, with aspirations of being a professional editor. Among other things. In the meantime, I obsess over books, history, art, and politics. I believe in freedom of speech and reading whatever you want. Open to discussions about anything and everything 🙂
  • Sounds like a lovely message for a comic, not your typical kick ass superheroes hehe. Allison sounds really relatable too which will make it more accessible to the general reader. Lovely review Jennifer!

  • Well, I’m glad my daughter picked this up a while ago then. I’ll have to ask her what she thought of it. I love the message as well. 🙂

  • shootingstarsmag

    Ah, I keep forgetting about this one! I saw it awhile back and thought it looked good. I need to check it out.


  • Wow, I can already see that this comic is more than just the action-packed that it is – it seems like it’s one of those really deeper ones that connect to the reader emotionally. I love the message that it wants to send – that we can be our own superheroes in our own ways. So many times in our generation, we give up on changing the world or making a difference because we don’t have the resources or the power to do it (like connections, or wealth, or the talents), but sometimes you don’t need to do those things to make a dent. Sometimes a small thing becomes a bigger thing, a small ripple will cause a larger one. I really feel like reading this one now!

    Faye at The Social Potato