Naomi #1 Review
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Naomi #1 is a curious comic. I didn't have much to go on other than a name and the beautiful cover by Jamal Campbell. There was a cringy article with the headline that read; "The Newest DC Comics Superhero Is a Girl of Color from Oregon".
I was on the fence about picking up the comic but the cover won me over and I thought, what the hell?
Right out of the gate Jamal's pencil's are amazing. I recognize him from his work on Power Rangers but this is a step above and beyond anything that I've seen from his work at Boom. This may be the most natural depiction of an African - American Woman that I've ever seen portrayed in comics without exaggeration. The linework and colors for the issue are flawless. There isn't a colorist credited for the issue so I will assume that Jamal pulled double duty and produced a masterpiece for DC.
The comic is billed as "DC's biggest mystery" I'm not sure how far the rabbit hole will go but the setup is cool. Naomi is from a sleepy town in Oregon. Nothing ever happens there. The big focus of the issue is that Superman shows up for about 17 seconds and the town is completely abuzz. Naomi is disappointed because she misses it. Afterward she looks into the story but there are no actual reports about what happened.
The next day Superman returns and there is still no news on the event which Naomi finds strange since nothing ever happens in town.
While meeting with her therapist It comes out that Naomi may be obsessed with Superman because they are both adopted.
While meeting with her friends its mentioned that something may have happened in the past involving superheroes but no one wants to discuss it. Naomi decides to talk to the local mechanic, Dee and asks him about the event. He's reluctant to tell her anything and as he walks off he gives her a date, March 14th.
Which just happens to be the day she was adopted...
Naomi #1 is a really good first issue. I love the character and the setting. At first glance, everything seems perfectly normal until it doesn't. I kind of feel like whatever the event is that happened in the past should have been revealed in this issue.
There is a trend in comics to load the first issue up with details but when it's time to payoff the build the comic just ends. We get the cliffhanger but without the reveal, the issue is somewhat lacking.
I will admit that I am intrigued by this story and I applaud DC for putting out series like this with no obvious connections to any other Superheroes.
I also feel like the "The Newest DC Comics Superhero Is a Girl of Color from Oregon". tag sales the character short. Naomi is an interesting character. Her race isn't mentioned at all in the comic and truthfully if she was any other race the story would have played out the same. This is similar to "Into the Spiderverse" where Miles ethnicity isn't a plot point. The normalization of Race and ethnicity in these story jumps out at me because too often POC characters are treated as props instead of actual Characters.
This issue is great and I'm excited to see where the story goes. Hopefully, Bendis doesn't stretch this origin story out too long.