Tag Archives: jennifer johnson

Review: Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart

Can a black woman be America’s first superhero?

Eli Franklin is a 15-year-old girl living in rural Montana–and she just happens to be the most powerful person on the planet.

In the aftermath of the world learning that only black people have superpowers, Eli makes her debut as the superhero Good Girl, on a mission to help people and quell the fear of empowered blacks.

When a super-terrorist threatens to take away everything Eli has worked toward, will donning a patriotic costume be enough for her to find acceptance?

If you’re unfamiliar with the world of Black, only Black individuals have superpowers and there’s been a conspiracy keeping that information hidden from the public. Launched as a limited series the concept shined as an exploration of racism, power structures, socio-political ramifications of a concept, all wrapped up in a nice what if?

Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart spins off from that original series in a new graphic novel in a world where the truth is now known.

Writer Kwanza Osajyefo is back for this spin-off and explores what the truth means to the world as well as the impact to a government that has been covering up the truth. Osajyefo packs in a lot here focusing on Eli Franklin, an adopted girl who’s a little bit different and whose father works for the government. There’s a mix of conspiracy, Superman, and the original mini-series, and it works for a solid entertaining read.

There’s definitely faults here with some concepts not explored enough and some of the story being a bit choppy in the flow but overall, it’s a new spin on the Superman mythology.

What’s really fascinating is how far Osajyefo is willing to go in this spin-off to expand the world. No longer is this focused on Black individuals with superpowers but there’s also… well, I don’t want to ruin it but it has to do with Eli Franklin’s origin. There’s a lot to unpack there.

There’s also a lot to chew on in this volume. The politics are interesting, especially Eli Franklin, and adopted girl whose father works for the government who is behind this conspiracy. There’s other aspects to that adoption that are interesting and will get you thinking for some time. The politics here aren’t straightforward and like the first volume, a little muddled.

Jennifer Johnson‘s art is fantastic. It’s a departure from the original volume and fits the youthful nature of its protagonist Eli Franklin. That’s part of what I’ve really enjoyed about the series, the art has an energy about it that fits it really well. The character designs and action too are wonderful to look at with a great flow. There’s some slight issues where it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on but some of that is due to the choppiness of the storytelling.

While you might expect a black and white comic, there’s a whole lot of gray in this new volume which expands this world in some shocking ways. This is the first of numerous releases and has me excited to see what’s next and where it all goes. Fantastic concepts in a world I want to see more of.

Story: Kwanza Osajyefo Art: Jennifer Johnson Cover: Sho Murase
Story: 7.75 Art: 8.15 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

Black Mask Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart

Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart

Written by: Kwanza Osajyefo
Illustrated by: Jennifer Johnson
Cover by: Sho Murase
DCD# SEP171271

Can a black woman be America’s first superhero?

Eli Franklin is a 15-year-old girl living in rural Montana–and she just happens to be the most powerful person on the planet.

In the aftermath of the world learning that only black people have superpowers, Eli makes her debut as the superhero Good Girl, on a mission to help people and quell the fear of empowered blacks.

When a super-terrorist threatens to take away everything Eli has worked toward, will donning a patriotic costume be enough for her to find acceptance?

America’s Sweetheart expands BLACK into a universe of heroes.

Written by Kwanza Osajyefo (BLACK) and illustrated by next breakout artist Jennifer Johnson.

With a gorgeous cover by Sho Murase.

Based on characters created by Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3 from the world established in BLACK, the breakout comic book series by Osajyefo & Smith, artist Jamal Igle, and cover artist Khary Randolph.

Black Gets Two Spin-Offs, Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart and Black [AF]: Widows & Orphans

Having taken the publishing industry by storm with a widely popular Kickstarter campaign for their acclaimed comic book, co-creators Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3 are publishing two new titles set in the world of Black, their controversial comic that asks “in a world that already fears and hates them, what if only Black people had superpowers?” The progressive, Los Angeles-based indie publisher Black Mask Studios will publish both of these new projects in early 2018, the first of several planned Black spinoff titles.

On sale timed to Black History Month, the original graphic novel Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart introduces America’s first superhero, a black teenage girl. Though Eli Franklin’s friends and neighbors in rural Montana think of her as a typical 15-year-old, she just might be the most powerful person on the planet. The adopted daughter of a government official, Eli sets out to give America hope as its first superhero, Good Girl, but soon discovers it may take more than donning a patriotic costume to lessen societal divides. On sale in comic book stores on January 31 and in bookstores on February 13, Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart is a stand-alone YA story that updates classic superhero tropes (an adopted child manifests incredible powers of super strength, invulnerability, and flight) to tell a bold, thrilling, and timely origin story for a new generation. Artist Jennifer Johnson makes her graphic novel debut.

Following the publication of Black [AF]: America’s Sweetheart, Black Mask Studios will publish the miniseries Black [AF]: Widows & Orphans starting in April. The four-issue series will reunite Black co-creators Kwanza Osajyefo and Tim Smith 3, with Osajyefo  writing the series and Smith illustrating it. The series highlights Anansi, one of the characters introduced in Black, and marks the first Black series to be illustrated by Smith, who designed the characters that Jamal Igle illustrated in the first Black comics.

More Black titles are in development from the co-creators and Black Mask Studios.

BLACK AF: AMERICA’S SWEETHEART
written by Kwanza Osajyefo; illustrated by Jennifer Johnson
$9.99; 80 pages; Full Color
On sale: in comic book stores on January 31 and in bookstores on February 14, 2018

BLACK [AF]: WIDOWS & ORPHANS #1
written by Kwanza Osajyefo; illustrated by TIM SMITH 3
$3.99; 32 pages; Full Color;  Mature
On Sale: April 2018