Before the Storm (Aero #1)

Zhou Liefen, Keng, and Greg Pak, trans. from the Mandarin by Yifan Jiang and Winni Woo. Marvel, $17.99 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-302-91944-3
A wind-wielding heroine swoops into the Marvel universe in this airy English-language adaptation from the publisher’s new Chinese-original series. Lei Ling juggles her busy, fulfilling profession as an architect and date nights with her neglected “beautiful boyfriend,” Zou Yu, all while keeping a secret identity: she’s the superhero Aero, protector of Shanghai. With aerokinesis (wind powers), she battles buildings transformed into monsters by her mentor turned nemesis, Madame Huang. Aero challenges Madame Huang and her new apprentice Keystone, a hard-hitting rock man, saving citizens in between ducking out of an awkward dinner conversation with Zou, who seems ready to pop more than one big question to his suspicious-acting girlfriend. Aero’s got charm and a wry personality, and the briskly paced volume smoothly introduces her super-abilities and supporting cast. Keng’s art shows Manga influences, but otherwise doesn’t break from standard genre conventions (including Lei’s exaggerated bust for her slim/muscular figure). The dialogue’s simplistic, though with multiple jump cuts and flashbacks, readers may still need to go slow to keep track of things. This accessible opener adds international character to the Marvel line but plays it too tame with its career vs. romance story tropes. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 02/20/2020
Release date: 02/25/2020
Genre: Comics
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