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If you’re looking for a sexy jungle story about two women fighting the crimes of Africa then you’ll only be half right. This story is anything but goofy and uses the comic to look at a very realistic problem in the world, while presenting it in a very accessible way. Simply put this isn’t a kid’s comic, but it’s still really good.
Lacy and Liv are on their way to Africa to cover the Savannah for their magazine. They are two very beautiful women that look fresh out of college and act as such too. Meanwhile, in Africa a French man and his troops raid a UN food supply and murder the villagers. The French man has his way with a young girl as she begs for Anaya to save her. Anaya is a local myth about a female protector that helps the weak and innocent.
The violence doesn’t end here though, as Lumas Okoye begins recruiting for his army. If you’re unfamiliar with the recruiting process it boils down to the army marching through a village and taking all the young boys and sometimes women. That is the case as a father wakes up to find his family gone. He rushes outside to see that they’ve been imprisoned. He acts to save them, but is gunned down by his family’s captors leaving him dead before their eyes.
Lacy and Liv receive a phone call about the situation and break into action as Anaya the Goddess and protector. Both Lacy and Liv begin picking off the soldiers one at a time leaving the mark of Anaya each time. They free all of the captives and defeat the army in relative ease making the reader wonder… who are these girls really?
Mike Bullock (The Phantom: Generations) does an impressive job of taking a book with a name that seems unserious and making it anything but. With this first issue, Bullock has tackled an issue that is still a problem in Africa today. Children are constantly taken from their homes and raised in an army that grooms them into violent killers. Bullock takes this issue and shines light on it with this comic which is not always an easy task. There’s a balance that’s struck between the message and the fictional world of the comic and Bullock manages to walk the line between the two.
The art is very good and maintains a “pulp” look to it which really fits the book. Artist Jose Massaroli draws a wide variety of people, animals, settings and objects and exceeds at doing all of them well. He struggles with facial expressions at times typically when a character is supposed to be showing fear, but otherwise he does a great job of capturing evil and beauty in Africa.
I didn’t know what to expect with this title and I have to say that I was taken aback by how good it was. It’s a solid read that’s accessible for anyone looking for a story that requires maturity. If you’re looking for a “pulp” or “noir” fill for the week, I’d highly recommend you pick up Savage Beauty.
Story – 8.0
Plot – 9.5
Art – 9.5
Color – 8.5
Overall – 8.9