Street Angel: After School Kung Fu Special
Writers: Jim Rugg, Brian Maruca
Artist: Jim Rugg
Publisher: Image Comics
A review by Greg Brothers
We’ve all gone through it. Those awkward years known as middle school. Your body full of hormones, and changing in all sorts of ways that make it hard to find clothes that fit, and trying to navigate the ever-changing social hierarchy. Now imagine doing all that while being homeless and fighting interdimensional bad guys. Once you arrive there you will find the same things that Jesse “Street Angel” Sanchez is dealing with.
Street Angel: After School Kung Fu Special is the latest book to feature the character of Jesse Sanchez. Previously the character has been featured in a Street Angel Web comic and a trade paperback that was available. This is the first time that the character is in a color comic from Image comics.
Jesse Sanchez is a middle school student who is homeless, street smart, and an orphan. In addition to all of that, she is also a kung fu master who must fight baddies from all sorts of dimensions to protect the world and her friends. Even though Jesse has protected and saved the world before, she is still the subject of shunning and ridicule from her fellow middle school students since she is different than them. While Jesse is just trying to make it through the day, her friends are more concerned with the social side of life as they all try to figure out who they want to ask to the school dance.
The book feels like it has been stripped down to be the most basic look, but at the same time it works well with this narrative. While Street Angel: After School Kung Fu Special has a very clean and simple style, the action in is overexaggerated and represents what happens when you have a school that’s full of a few up-and-coming karate experts. Several of the splash pages really drive home that action, and use non-conventional panel placement to highlight the action.
Buy it! Street Angel: After School Kung Fu Special is a fun read. Jesse is a great character and watching her deal with the normal middle school drama while being a kung fu master keeps the character interesting and grounded. Jesse comes off as brooding, distracted, and annoyed that she is dealing with some of these daily dramas, and her fellow students. At times, you feel she would much rather be out fighting big baddies than dealing with those dramas. My only compliant would be that some of the other characters were not flushed out as well as they could have been, but I do not know if this has been an issue since the beginning of these stories or if it was because this is my first interaction with these characters. In the end, those small concerns did not have a large enough effect to keep me from being able to enjoy the story overall.
Street Angel: After School Kung Fu Special will be available on April 26, 2017.