A Pirate’s Life For… Eh, no thanks.
This is late. No, I mean, this is very very late from when I first signed up to review this.
I’m a turd.
But I’m a turd who is actively trying to make more time for things she loves. Like writing. So, without any further disclaimers…
The majority of the story begins in 1720, though historical accuracy doesn’t seem to be goal of this comic (which is more than fine because I tend to love many things that dally with anachronism–Shakespeare being one of them).
We’re immediately pulled into a world of “Ye”s, “Yarr”s and every other piratical catch-phrase you can think of–admittedly, the language feels a bit forced. Writing in dialect is never easy and I usually recommend people avoid it all together unless absolutely necessary. Unless done very well, it can be pretty jarring. Especially if nearly every character speaks that way, as in She-Buccaneer. But you know, if you can just pretend that they’re all engaging in ‘Talk Like a Pirate’ Day, you’ll manage fine.
We meet She-Buccaneer on the day that her lover, Jack Calico, has been hung. Good inciting action, I think. Then, by strange “coincidence” (No spoilers, but you later discover this is rather by design) she encounters a stow-away in the hull: an Arab “boy” by the name of “Ajib Al Abbaba” or “Ajib the Wonderful”. He immediately and without reservation informs She-Buccaneer that he is searching for the treasure of eternal life. This launches both her and her crew on a series of adventures where they face monsters, ghosts and the devil himself in search for the key to bringing back dear ol’ Captain Jack back to life. Despite that every vision/ghostly encounter our heroine has with her late lover, he begs her not to try to revive him.
The basic concept, I think, is actually pretty intriguing, it’s the execution that I’m iffy on.
The Pirate Queen (Who doesn’t seem to have a name as she’s only referred to as M’lady, Captain, and She-Buccaneer) is garbed in a rather modern-outfit. Honestly, it looks like it’d be a pretty fun cosplay. However… while I do appreciate the jolly-roger bra (It’d be a cute swimsuit, you can’t deny), I admit, I laughed when Ajib comments that she “[binds her] chest with the flags of death”. First, let’s not act like wearing a skull and cross-bones on your boobs is a legitimate form of mourning. Second, as someone who has had to play boys in certain theater productions, let me be very clear when I say, THAT IS ANYTHING BUT A BOUND CHEST.
The artwork would be enjoyable if it were consistent. I wonder if they were rushed to finish it? Some panels are gorgeous and detailed while others feel like they’re lacking in attention.
She-Buccaneer’s breasts seem to grow in every panel (they may be rivaling Power Girl’s at one point), which then causes them to also broaden her shoulders, but not the rest of her body so she looks more than a little top-heavy. I also noticed that they tend to just randomly have her lose clothing between frames. There are multiple instances where clothing has somehow vanished or changed when the shot is perhaps not quite as close or from a different angle. Sometimes her shirt has straps, sometimes it doesn’t (and I’m not talking in different scenes)
Her crew isn’t much better off as their faces mush together and stretched here and there. Ajib, for one, starts out looking like a middle-aged creeper (though they keep calling him ‘boy’–possibly because he’s wearing a diaper) and fluxes from that to looking like Aladdin, to (in one or two panels) looking white. So… that’s a bit awkward.
The writing is a bit over-the-top–which, being a pirate’s tale, I think is fitting, but at the same time, the story seems to have a side plot of seeing how many men can skeeze on She-Buccaneer and how many times can we get her in a skimpy harem outfit.
All-in-all, I have to admit, I was disappointed. I really wanted to like this comic. It had pirates, a female protagonist, mysticism and parlance with the netherworld…
But the dialogue was a little flat, the storyline was over the top and I feel like the the art just got sloppy. I can’t say I’d recommend it.
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