Artist: Gene Ha
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: May 18, 2016
In Mae #1 , Abbie discovered a portal to a fantasy world when she was just a little girl; and for the last couple of years has been having great adventures there: defeating horrible monsters, power-mad scientists, and evil nobles. She was a celebrated action hero! But when she turned twenty-one it all came apart and she decided to return home. Her sister, Mae, has had no idea what happened to Abbie all this time. Her tales are too hard to believe; that is, until the monsters and other terrible creatures start to cross over to our world .
Mae #1 introduces us to a new style of stories that you have already heard of, Portal Fiction. We have all seen or read at least once, a story that has dealt with some sort of portal, and not just the video game Portal. When kids traveled to Neverland with Peter Pan, with the help of some Magic Pixie Dust, time was frozen, and they never grew up. There are others such as Wonderland and Narnia, though while visiting there, time also passes very slowly. Mae turns out to be the main character of the story, but it has been her sister Abbie that has been going on solo adventures on and off for years.
Ever since she was a little girl, Abbie had been taking random trips to her magic fantasy world. She would go off, here and there a day or two, and always have an alibi. One night she was gone, and told her Dad that she had been camping. While she is arguing with their Dad, Mae is snooping around Abbie’s room to see if there are any clues to where she keeps disappearing to. She finds a shoe box under a board and finds a few things such as a scarab looking beetle. She clicks it and it flies over to the window. I was thinking it was going to try to fly out of the Cave of Wonders like in Aladdin! The beetle turns out to be a bipedal life-form, that could be important to the upcoming story. But later after this, Abbie disappears again, and isn’t heard from in years. There is trouble in her paradise, and when she turns 21, she comes back home to the real world. But maybe something, or somethings have also followed her back.
Gene Ha does an awesome job of juggling all of the tasks for Mae #1 . Writing, drawing, and making the cover for the book. I’ve always found it interesting for a creator to take on all of the lead roles for a project and their process for making this work. Ha’s art is spot-on across the spectrum. It’s been a few years since I have seen some of his work from early 90’s X-Men stories. He has really grown in his work since those years. I love the depth he is giving the characters with their exaggerated facial features, and keeping them looking realistic. Gene’s exaggerated style compliments the two worlds that Mae walks in.