Golden Rage, Vol. 1

Image Comics. Feb. 2023. 160p. ISBN 9781534324688. pap. $16.99. FANTASY
Thirty-something Jay finds herself ashore on an island inhabited by older women—apparently banished from the mainland for lacking fertility. But it’s not all grandma-style tea and kitty-cats. The Red Hat gang makes living dangerous for the others, as feuds erupt in hand-to-hand combat and people die. Jay must navigate whom to trust while wondering about the island witch and her thankless daughter and worrying that the mainland authorities will wipe them all out. Williams (editor, The Wicked + the Divine) mines themes met before in Bitch Planet, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Battle Royale, adding a sassy vibe associated with The Golden Girls television sitcom. Maps, recipes, and other accessory matter lend texture. The suitably ominous art from Knight (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Dodgson (Bitter Root) conveys the increasingly darker direction of the plot. Indeed, this first volume leaves big questions unanswered. Who engineered the exile of these women, and why? And what does sex and reproduction have to do with it? Throughout, Williams plays cunningly with female stereotypes, dashing them to pieces when the going gets rough.
VERDICT This clever, sometimes tongue-in-cheek adventure will draw in fans of dystopian mysteries and tough heroines.
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