Comics provide an excellent opportunity for worlds to be created, with characters spinning off into their own series. Drew Edwards, the writer of Halloween Man, decided to do exactly that by creating Lucy Chaplin: Science Starlet. The comic features the adventures of Lucy Chaplin, a capable scientist who is considered to be one of the greatest minds in the world. The comic is intriguing because it contains a mixture of feminist empowerment and gender politics.
From the first page, readers are introduced to a world where women fulfil all the major roles in society. Women are CEOS, special operatives and respected scientists. There’s even a woman president. Lucy Chaplin is getting ready to give a speech about new technology she’s created when the press conference is attacked by the Sons of Samson.
The terrorist organisation is hell-bent on making men the dominant force on the planet. Samson, the leader, engages Lucy in a violent brawl, only for Lucy to outwit him with her intelligence. Samson retreats, though he continues to plot his next move. Lucy puts together a team of powerhouse ladies to stop the Sons of Samson once and for all. The roster is made up of a Professor of Feminist Literature, a pop singer and others.
With help from her team, Lucy is able to take the Sons of Samson down. I found Lucy’s characterisation to be highly engaging. Edwards presents her as strong-willed, fearless and brilliant. She breaks the mould of the typical female superhero. Instead of being perfectly proportioned, Lucy is full figured, even working as a plus size model. It’s an empowering, realistic stance for women.
The female empowerment extended to the world in general. The reversal of gender roles provided a fun spin on the superhero genre. All the women within Lucy Chapin: Science Starlet are fully realised characters. Each has their doubts, but they’re able to move forward, rising above adversity to save the day.
The art has a cartoony feeling to it, but I thought that worked with the fantastical elements. There’s a sequence that involved Lucy dressing up as a “Victorian cyborg dominatrix,” with the art enhancing the action in relation to the costume. If you’re going to go all out with a comic then you might as well make the art stand out, something that Lucy Chaplin: Science Starlet excels in.
For anyone who wants to read about an alternative kind of superhero, then I’d definitely recommend Lucy Chaplin. Readers of all ages are sure to feel inspired by her courage. Edwards has created something unique, which is the kind of attitude that will take you far in the comic industry.