Travelling Man's Blog

Review: Suffrajitsu Issue 1 by Travelling Man

Written by Tony Wolf

Illustrated by João Viera

Colours by Josan Gonzales

Letters by Ed Dukeshire

Published by Jet City Comics

London, 1914 and the Suffragette movement is in the middle of all-out war with the Police. The idea of women receiving the vote has sent shockwaves through the establishment. Emmeline Pankhurst’s message was violently suppressed anywhere it could be, and the very men who claimed to be protecting women from the burden of voting were often the same ones who physically assaulted the Suffragettes.

The Suffragettes fought back. Groups trained in Jujitsu and Bartitsu became bodyguards for other protestors and the physical conflict became far more of an even playing field than it had been. These women fought and bled for their rights and it’s their fight that forms the basis of this book.

Wolf’s script introduces us to a large group of characters with confidence and grace. Persephone Wright, Katie Sandwina, Flossie Le Mar, Toupie Lowther and the others are all established historical figures who Wolf has smartly, and slightly, repositioned. This is the toughest thing the book does, the one place it steps where it’s center of gravity is off. Done wrong, placing characters like this in a fictional story would do nothing but belittle their work and courage.

Suffrajitsu is done very, very right. Wolf’s script crackles with energy and documented historical events, but uses them to cleverly spin the book into a thriller rather than an overt historical piece. If you know the period, you’ll recognize some events. If you don’t, read this, then read up on the period. It’s extraordinary and Wolf honors it, and his characters, while spinning them off into what looks to be a Sherlockian story of espionage and murder.

Plus this is really fun. It’s crammed full of brilliant characters, the story is unlike anything else on the market and Viera’s artwork is a perfect fit. There’s enough detail to honor the time period but it’s tempered by the fluidity needed to keep the action moving. The fights, and there are several, are grounded and nasty, giving the book a welcome dose of bloody-nosed realism and the colors, by Gonzales coat the entire thing in a Victorian palate that’s subtle and realistic. Dukeshire’s letters round everything off, as at home with narration and correspondence as they are with dialogue.

Tough, clever, smart unique storytelling, Suffrajitsu is the most unique, and entertaining, comic series you’ll read this month. Go get it, and discover an amazing story drawn from an amazing piece of history.

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