Spirit's Destiny 1-2 Review - A Stunning Debut for Comics Newest Haitian Superhero
I was able to get my hands on Dorphise Jean's Spirits Destiny recently and after reading the book it stuck with me the rest of the day. There are a lot of interesting ideas presented in issues 1 and 2 that will lend themselves to long-running series if the creative team decides to proceed with the story along those lines.
The story behind the book is just as interesting. The comic features an all-female creative team and the first Haitian superhero that I've come across, if not the first in print. The lead character is a young high school-aged girl that suffers an accident and gains superpowers. She's joined by her mother, grandmother and best friends for a majority of the comics. The characters have a natural chemistry and you buy their connections to one another.
In addition to interpersonal relationships, Dorphise sets up a number of mysteries that could come into play as the series goes forward. Destiny's parents have a complicated relationship. They both obviously love their daughter but circumstances have split this family apart. The circumstances may be fantastical but the situation is very real and relatable.
There are also a few scenes with Destiny's grandmother that are ripe for exploration. We get a nice cliffhanger in issue #2 and I'm curious to see where this story goes.
I love the character design for Destiny's superhero persona. It looks cool and the stripe in her hair gives her a striking and distinct look. She reminds me of the X-Men's Rogue if she was melanated. I also thought it was cool that Julie Anderson was able to convey the familial relationships through linework. Often characters are said to be related but rarely look similar to one another. Destiny, her mother, and grandmother all look like aged variants of the same person which is cool. There is also a lot of variety in scenes and locales found in the comic.
Julie conveys motion and energy well. Nothing feels static and it's always nice when the passage of time can be conveyed in a book without distinctly laying it out. The book has its issues though. I think the transitions between scenes could have been laid out a bit better. Scenes start and seem to abruptly end with little or no transition. This gets better in issue #2 but it's kinda jarring.
.The colors are also a mixed bag. The majority of the comic is colored in blue's, whites, purples, and oranges. This works for the most part but the orange does not contrast well with the other colors. Destiny's father, for example, has orange hair and when he shows up it looks weird when contrast with the rest of the setting. The biggest notch I can levy at the series is that two issues in and we're still firmly in origin story territory.
If this was an ongoing series from Marvel, DC, or any other crowdfunded book I would have registered the same complaint. You gotta give the reader what they pay for. If the book features a superhero, the superhero has to show up, preferably by the end of the first issue. I get why the creative team went in this direction. The idea is to keep the audience wanting more. I've never been a fan of decompressed storytelling and this seems to be the route the creative team is going for.
I haven't seen too many books like Spirit's Destiny. The spiritual aspects of the comic aren't too common and the nearest book I can think of is Shadowman from Valiant comics. The character origins seem to run similar beats despite being totally different. if you like Shadowman you'll enjoy Spirits Destiny.
Aside from those complaints. It's nothing but respect here. I love seeing indie creators find success and get the opportunity to hone their craft. At this time Dorphise and Spirits Destiny has clearly found an audience. There is passion and creativity all over this book. My recommendation is that when the next volume is produced, it finishes this story arc. If that means putting out a bigger book to tell the story than so be it. Don't drag this arc out 5-6 issues.