Maw # 1
We become accustomed to so much, so easily. Situations consume us until there is nothing left except an empty shell. The solicits for Maw # 1 indicated something happens during the issue that transforms the main character, but that isn’t even the beginning. This new horror series opens with content that may be uncomfortable and treacherous territory for some readers. Areas that once entered will definitely change you as well.
Story by: Jude Ellison S. Doyle
Illustrated by: A. L. Kaplan
Colors by: Fabiana Mascolo w/ Federica Mascolo
Letters by: Cardinal Rae
We are introduced to sisters Marion and Wendy as they are being shuttled to a women’s commune. From their opening dialogue it is apparent that Wendy has been following the leader Diana Spiro and is eager for this opportunity to participate in a session with her. Marion on the other hand is clearly not as invested as her sibling for some reason. It’s typical to have a skeptic of sorts in a story of an “enlightenment” camp or commune. The writer does a fantastic job of casting Marion in this role. Reading Marion’s dialogue you could assume the title is an analogy for her mouthy nature. We soon discover the tragic reasons for her demeanor and what is devouring her very being.
Maw # 1 behaves with a beast like nature. True to it’s name it grips down firmly on the reader. There is no escape as Marion’s story slowly consumes you.
Illustrator A. L. Kaplan does a great job of conveying what isn’t said specifically by the characters. While we know from her words that Marion doesn’t want to be here, it is the body language Kaplan illustrates that speaks volume about her interest. closed off and not receptive at all. Meanwhile, the images illustrated of session leader Miranda and the attendees is much more open and inviting, signifying a willingness and acceptance. Fabian and Federica Mascolo’s chose colors in the scenes that enhance the changes in tone this issue brings to it’s readers. When we initially meet the sister’s they are traveling and finally arriving at the commune. The sky is bright, not blue rather a hazy yellow which inspires hope and transformation. Later as the issue progresses the scenes take a darker, even sinister tone.
Maw # 1 is a graphic opening with few hints on what the series has in store for readers. The psychologically startling nature of it’s subject is not for all readers. However, I am amazed by the subtle ways the creator and artists used fleeting images and flashbacks to take on this topic. From the start we can tell something is eating away at Marion. I can only wonder what will remain of her by the final issue.