Review – A Man Among Ye!
Author: Stephanie Phillips
Illustrator: Craig Cermak
Publisher: Image Comics
Date: February 2021
So, I’m expecting that about 90% of the review of A Man Among Ye! will spend an inordinate amount of time making as many pirate puns and find ways to put on weird Cornish accents. I’ll try my best to resist my inner pirate (let me out yeh landlubber!!) and review this collection of the 2020 Image Comics title.
Following the 18th century Caribbean age of piracy a few pockets of pirates still are pillaging the seas around Florida, Cuba and the Island chains between them. The infamous Anne Bonny shows up all the men in her crew starting with the first few pages that show how she deals with survivors!
A stowaway, Mary Read, is discovered and Bonny takes a shine to the young lad (or lass) against the orders of Calico Jack Rackham and his crew. At a time when any woman, let alone two, were seen as bad luck how with this duo deal with them both?
Phillips seems to be a bit of a pirate herself according to the writer’s update provided at the back of the book. There are few actual facts known about Bonny so she has fun with her! The reader is in a man’s world, a cruel world and any woman needs to be more ruthless than the men she faces off against. The story is pretty tight with a normal checklist of things pirate:
Pillaging ships (check)
Drunk Pirates (check)
Heaving Bosoms (check)
Cutlass Fights (check)
Treacherous Crew (check)
I’m not complaining, a book about pirates doing their laundry wouldn’t really sell (but how do you get blood out of silk?)
I do worry it does stray a little into all men are arseholes and all women are a great trope, but to be fair this time period it was true. Bonny and Read are fleshed out over the collected issues and I cannot wait for the next instalment! It’s important in life to have strong female role models and Bonny, even as a pirate, fits the bill.
I could see this as a Netflix movie in the next few years!
Cermak does a great job with the visuals, you can hear the clash of the cutlasses, the cannon explosions and smell the pirates from his visuals. He does a great trick during a below deck scene where the crew are about to kill Mary Read. The scene is washed out until Bonny arrives in flashes of red hair and uniform drawing your eye to her in the scene.
The cover art is strong and I am looking forward to see what he does with the supporting characters to flesh them out a bit.
I really enjoyed this book but did feel it was all over a bit quickly. For new readers, this is a good introduction to the world of Anne Bonny. I like when comics step away from biff, boom, pow superpowers and am now watching The Lost Pirate Kingdom on Netflix to satisfy my craving.
Get this book at local comic book shops, Amazon or book shop!
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