Thanks to Image Comics for providing a review copy!
Written by Mat Groom
Art by Marcelo Costa and Eduardo Ferigato
When I started reading Self/Made my plan was to read an issue or two, then carry on the next day. After I got to the end of Issue #2 I just couldn’t help but keep on reading. Groom is amazing with the cliffhanger endings and just made me want to pick up the next book over and over.
In issue #4, Amala finds her self in a very new world. Her creator, Rebecca, has found a way to give her a physical form after Bryce destroyed her data sphere at the end of issue #3. There’s a part of me that wants to just enjoy this story for it’s awesome sci-fi elements, but I can’t help but see questions about consent, intellectual property, and misogyny just leap off the page.
Obviously Rebecca has had to deal with some not-so-great men up to this point in her life. She fought to be heard in her career, and had many choices taken away from her by the men in charge. Bryce in particular was horrible, to the point of making her literally beg him for more time to work on a project. Bryce is presented as #TheWorst, and watching Rebecca deal with him was hard at times.
After Rebecca can step away from Bryce, she makes some big choices of her own for Amala. After barely coming to grips with the fact that the world as she knew it was a lie, Amala is forced into the modern world in a body of steel and wires. Her ethnicity, her sexuality, her hair, and some memories are taken away from her without her consent. Amala wants to find a reason for her creation and is faced with the harsh reality that no one is really created with a definitive purpose in mind. The ways that Rebecca exerts power over Amala strongly mirror the ways Bryce exerted power over Rebecca in previous issues. I’m curious to see how these power dynamics will affect Amala’s personality as the story goes on.
The art in Self/Made is quite thoughtful! I love the small details that show up on Amala in particular to connect to her past lives. The design of her steel body is great. A lot of the world building is done through the art, which I really appreciate. I know that the story takes place in a future world with advanced technology that influenced by big corporations with very little text to state that. Groom & Ferigato do a great job of showing and not telling.
I am excited to see where the story goes from here, I think there is a lot of potential for growth in this world. I am so rooting for Amala to find a purpose.
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