So I’ve just read the first book of Rachel Rising by Terry Moore (and I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers). It’s dark, it’s moody, it adds layers of mystery with every page and I am now impatient to read more.
Something that marks it out amongst comics is the prevalence of female characters, from Rachel herself to Jet the mechanic, Aunt Johnny the morgue worker and the incredible Zoe (read it, she is compelling). Yep, there’s a mechanic-girl and a morgue-woman, both of whom are introduced in their workplaces in an androgynous, even masculine way. Terry Moore is playing here: you’re expecting a guy? Here’s a girl. This is a world where women drive the plot, solve the mysteries, make things happen, and are both the victims and the causes of violence. It’s refreshing. Traditionally, in literature and in comics, a woman was either a virgin or a whore, a simpering sweetheart or a villainous vixen. Times are thankfully changing, and Terry Moore is giving us something different with his women: good gals, bad gals, confused gals, girls who do bad things yet still have you rooting for them.
So what about the men? Sorry, guys, but you’re not going to like this. The men in Rachel Rising are a venal, sleazy, cruel, easily led lot. Nice guys give you a ride home and then get the hell out of town (woe betide you if you try to help). Everyone else will betray some kind of weakness or perversion or downright weirdness before long.
So we have a world of mixed-up, stereotype busting women, alive, dead and all points in between, alongside a bunch of men who frankly deserve what’s coming to them. What’s not to like?!