A three issue limited, that has no ending


I’ve been reading a lot of small press titles these last couple of months.  One of my favorite discoveries has been the Voyages of She Buccaneer from Great Big Comics, that I fell in love with in the first issue.  The mini-series reaches its conclusion in this issue, and it leaves you kind of hanging.

shebuccaneer3cover.jpgThe premise behind the series is pretty simple; pirate girl loves pirate boy.  Pirate boy is hung to death and sent to hell.  Pirate girl swears she’ll bring him back.  Only problem, in order to do it, pirate girl needs to sail the seven seas gathering seven eyes – jewels with mystic powers – to free him.  Along the way pirate girl meets comrades and villains, and has adventures only a pirate girl can.

Even though the She Buccaneer has been to three different lands, a double cross has left her with only one of the mystic eyes instead of two, and in order to get ahead of her swindler, she and her crew head to the gulf of Persia to obtain the Eye of Kabala.

If the previous two adventures weren’t exciting enough (last issue had the pirates scouring the ancient city of Atlantis and fighting giants), then check out the hijinks that transpire in Persia.  As part of her ploy to get closer to the sultan, and thus closer to the Eye of Kabala, She Buccaneer allows herself to be captured and forced into the service of the sultan’s harem.

If you liked the She Buccaneer in her pirate garb, check her out in her harem-ware.  Once again, Will Hughes does an excellent job illustrating the story throughout.  There are times when proportions change, or facial features get mussed in the more complex panels, but overall, it is really good.  I do like that Hughes takes the time to draw panels that don’t conform to the traditional comic book layout, allowing characters and actions to spill across the page.  I also like that Hughes does not scrimp on the backgrounds adding plenty of detail to make the panel feel complete.  I really hate artists that fill in a background with solid color or a strange pattern to make their job easier.

Before the issue is over, the pirate crew is pursued across the Horn of Oman by the sultan and his swami, who is able to whip up majiks to make escape difficult.  The swami even goes so far as to conjure up a Jinn to send the pirate crew to their doom.  However, pirate boy’s ghost shows up and in a weird twist, that I won’t reveal here, turns the tables on the sultan and his ship.  Fortunately, She Buccaneer and company escape to continue their journey.

And that’s where the issue and the series ends.  I can understand a small publisher betting a load of money on a short run series to tease the audience into something that may or may not be published in the future, but while each issue in the three-issue mini-series could stand alone as its own single story, I really would have liked to have seen a more definite conclusion to the larger story.
I can’t fault writer Heidi Hughes on this.  She’s done a great job of telling a sweeping story in a limited number of pages.  While there may be times the pacing is choppy, remember Hughes is writing the equivalent of an entire Pirates of the Caribbean movie in 22-pages.  While I’m not a huge fan of this super fast pace, it works here and tells the complete adventure of obtaining another piece to the puzzle.

Though the first series is over, Great Big Comics is kicking off another series called  Matt Mercury and his Rocket Rangers, that will feature a back up She Buccaneer mini-series.  I don’t know if this will continue the current story or not – there is still some question at the end of this issue if pirate girl will continue her quest, but for those who like buxom girls in pirate adventures, I’m willing to give Matt Mercury a chance.  Great Big Comics also let us know a new She Buccaneer series will make its way to store in 2009 that reveals her origin, and quite possibly her real name.

I thought this third issue finished strong, but not as strong as the first.  On the plus side, art and story compliment each other well (plus there is another She Buccaneer centerfold featuring Crystal Mantecon).  On the negative, this really should have been a seven or twelve issue arc, released on a monthly basis.  I’m still mighty happy with She Buccaneer giving issue #3 3.5 out of 5 Stars.




About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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