Sarah is an 8 year-old Chinese girl who watches the murder of her parents in their small Chinatown, NY grocery store. Sarah’s grandmother sends her to a Buddhist temple to learn the ways of the Buddha and to hopefully learn to cope with the grief of her parents’ death. In the temple, she makes friends with a boy named Allen and she learns martial arts. As it ends she has not yet put on the purple costume and mask of the Justice Angel, but is, instead, right on the cusp of it.
As I said in a previous review I love independent books and Tiffany Dang’s is a book every comic book fan needs to read. The art in it is very basic and still very rough in some scenes; the artist needs a bit more practice with the anatomy of some of the characters and perspective, but for her first outing it shows she has potential and I would love to see more of Valerie Boris’s work.
However, it is Dang’s writing that makes this comic book a success. I met her briefly at the New York Comic Con; I thought English was her second language (I am not 100 percent sure), but she weaves an amazing story and proves she has a skill to narrate Sarah’s journey into the Justice Angel. I loved how she mixed Sarah’s story with a story from ancient times about two farmers framed for attempting to poison the emperor.
The plot is the same one seen in many comic books in stories – parents are killed and young child grows up to become a hero (i.e. Batman, Spider-Man, Harry Potter, etc.), but thanks to Dang, I was able to learn much about the Chinese culture, Buddhism and Sarah’s world.
It’s worth the visit!
You can pick up Justice Angel here.
All images courtesy of Artemis Entertainment.
Tiffany Dang, Writer
Valerie Boris, Illustrator
Caleb Meeker, Colorist & Letterer