Identity Crisis in NAOMI #1 (Review)
For a girl living in Coast City, Ca., a quiet, small town, seventeen year old Naomi lives her mundane life in an identity crisis. Having a personal obsession to know more about Superman’s personal life causes her to reflect on her own life as an adopted child. But on this day something out of the ordinary happens when two behemoths crash into central downtown that will spark a personal investigation of the town and Naomi’s past. In the most anticipated comic book of 2019, DC’s first issue of Naomi hits the stands with an unexpected visit by the Man of Steel himself, Superman fighting against the villainous Mongul in a fight that spans the length of the United States. What was once quiet streets turns into chaos for all of 17 seconds. For Naomi, her investigation into this incident will bring more than what she expects from an unlikely source. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s my review of Naomi #1.
For every adopted child there’s not a day that goes by to think they’re special in some way. For Naomi, this is no different. As an adopted child herself, she wishes her life was as fortunate as Superman’s. A being from another planet, adopted by loving parents and possesses the strength and admiration of the entire world, lives a blessed life. She goes through counseling sessions in hopes of accepting herself. Naomi, a young black teenager, whose eyes are as warm as a nightly campfire, cannot shake why this incident happened and why it’s not reported in the news. Later that day, her friends tell her of a local superhero once visited the town, but no one wants to offer any information. This may be more folklore than reality to that story, nevertheless, Naomi searches at the town’s archives and makes personal inquiries with local residents for more information or finding some evidence if this really happened. All tips lead to nowhere until she meets a mechanic named Dee.
The story is a quest for finding Noemi’s past. Being this young and impressionable girl in the West Coast is lost in a world where everyone knows about their past. She’s looking for something more than who she is. Loved by her friends and her local councilor, Naomi looks for something that will connect her life with Superman. Anything to make her life more meaningful. But as news of Superman’s sudden cameo slowly fades into obscurity, there’s a word of a past superhero who once visited Coast City, but has since disappeared without a trace. This makes the gears in Naomi’s head go into overdrive as she researches this through historical archives and questions local residents. With all hope and leads becoming a dead end, Naomi looks to ask the last person she would ever expect to speak with. His name is Dee, a local mechanic, whose body and tattoos look more like an art gallery, knows of a time when a Superhero did come to town and it was on the day of Naomi’s birthday.
Action / Artwork / Enjoyment
Did I mention that all the action sequences lasted only 17 seconds or the equivalent of two full pages worth of comic book beauty? Using a panoramic comic book layout, makes your eyes pop with excitement. Two pages are completely filled with Superman and Mongol fighting it out in one layout. Turn the next page, is the aftermath and our introduction to the character Naomi. She has a supporting cast of characters who simply love to see her smile and be loved. The artwork is clean and detailed, show a lot of facial emotions throughout the story. There’s also a panel of Superman offering a hand to clean-up the aftermath showing is trademark smile of reassurance, always the true-blue Boy Scout that he is. The colors are vibrant and full of youthfulness as the story progresses until the end. The town itself is a bit creepy as Naomi searches for clues to the incident that happened years ago and no one is giving any information.
In closing, the series leads me to believe this will start out as a mystery of one identity. From what I gathered, Naomi is adopted and living in California for the past seventeen years of her life. It just so happens that an unknown superhero once stayed/visited in her hometown and suddenly vanished without a trace or mention thereof. Fred, lead investigator of the agency called, Mystery Inc. would say, “We have a mystery on our hands.” I love how Brian Bendis has taken this approach to tell Naomi’s story and look forward to reading more of it in the coming issues. I call this a buy. The next issue of Naomi issue #2 comes out on February 20th.
The series leads me to believe this will start out as a mystery of one identity.