I’ve never considered myself to be an expert on history. I know the general things you need to know but there’s no era I can really say I’m super knowledgeable. European history especially is something that I’ve never learned beyond the basics so the era of piracy is generally a mystery to me. I know some things but I couldn’t really go into detail about it. That actually made me excited to check out the debut of the Image Comics and Top Cow Productions series A Man Among Ye #1. The comic focuses on the real-world pirate Anne Bonny. It weaves a fictional narrative about a non-fictional person. Bonny, like a lot about the pirates, is a bit of a mystery as there are counter-narratives and weaving of the fantastical along with the truth.
Written by Stephanie Phillips, A Man Among Ye #1 takes us to the high seas introducing us to Bonny and Captain “Calico Jack” Rackham as they do what pirates do best, attack other ships and steal their gold. It’s some solid adventure and excitement throwing the reader right into the action.
Phillips though makes sure to deliver the details about this time and world. Anne Bonny isn’t liked by the crew as women on ships weren’t really a thing. There’s also a tinge of jealously in how Rackham treats Bonny. She’s a world class pirate but some of the crew only see her as a woman and the woman Rackham is sleeping with.
Phillips delivers a really subtle set up in the series and world. Bonny is liberated having become a pirate. It’s not only an act of rebellion but also something just didn’t do at the time. She’s bucked the systems both the Crown and society as a whole. Where the series takes all of this will be interesting to see.
The art by Craig Cermak is solid. Along with colorist Brittany Pezzillo and letterer Troy Peteri, there’s just enough detail to really set us into this time period. It also doesn’t go over the top in detail to distract. I don’t know the time period well, so no idea who accurate clothing and the ships are but what’s presented is believable and “feels right.” The action for the comic has that swashbuckling visual down. It’s hard to really create that flow of sword battles, so instead we get the excitement of those key moments and near misses.
The issue is a good one blending fact and fiction and taking us to a world we don’t see too often in comics. A Man Among Ye #1 is a fun debut that feels like it’s having fun with historical individuals we don’t know much about but who probably had many lifetimes of stories to tell.
Story: Stephanie Phillips Art: Craig Cermak
Color: Brittany Pezzillo Letterer: Troy Peteri
Story: 7.95 Art: 7.95 Overall: 7.95 Recommendation: Buy
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review