STREET ANGEL: SUPERHERO FOR A DAY by Brian Maruca and Jim Rugg
While STREET ANGEL: SUPERHERO FOR A DAY might not seem like much, it's a light action-packed comic almost anyone can enjoy.
82 %
As harmless as a ham sandwich

What makes a superhero super? Is it their god-like powers? Unshakable moral code? Or is it just the will to beat up baddies for a good grilled cheese sandwich? This very predicament is what the main character of STREET ANGEL: SUPERHERO FOR A DAY finds herself in. Written by Brian Maruca and drawn by Jim Rugg — this adventurous tale of a ninja-warrior teen with an endless appetite is a delight for teens and adults alike.

Being Super in STREET ANGEL: SUPERHERO FOR A DAY Isn’t All That Super

The story follows Jesse Sanchez and her friends as they discover this alien artifact known as a Hover Ring. In their crime-ridden city of Wilksboro, such an object fetches a pretty price. Enough to get Jesse a much-needed sandwich anyway. Yet before she can skate away with the ring, Emma, one of her friends, tries it on and suddenly gets superpowers. From there, Jesse and her gang try to help Emma control her new-found abilities while avoiding the attention of some less-than-friendly civilians and heroes.

Courtesy of Image Comics

In terms of narrative complexity, there’s not much to say. This is one of the few Image comics targeting specifically teenager audiences, and it shows. None of the characters really get fleshed out a ton, but that’s not really the purpose of the story. It’s really to tell a light-hearted hero’s tale that anyone can pick up and enjoy. Yet at the same time, this lighter story might have some scratching their heads wondering, “that’s it?” At times, it seems to be rising towards a larger narrative that would span a few issues. Yet instead of doing that, it more or less just ends within this self-contained story. Granted, it is an enjoyable story, but not quite what I was expecting from this team.

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Sensitivity in Comics

Another thing of note pertains to the main character. Jesse Sanchez is homeless; there’s no way getting around that. They show how grimy and difficult her life is on the street. Yet while they don’t go all BOXCAR CHILDREN in terms of romanticizing a life on the road for kids, they do shy away from some of the more harrowing realities of homelessness. However, that does not appear to be the intention of the graphic novel, so such inaccuracies can slide.

My only real complaint then would pertain to the character of Emma. Before she gains superpowers, she appears to have a few notable disabilities. They’re not exactly shown in the most sympathetic light, more played for the visual gage of it all. It just came across to me as a tad insensitive rather than a chance to be inclusive. Although, none of the girls tease Emma about it. They actually seem eager to include her in their activities. As such, it’s best for the individual readers to decide their take on it.

Drawn Like a Journal

If nothing else, I love Jim Rugg’s style for STREET ANGEL: SUPERHERO FOR A DAY. He drew the figures in a sketchy, simple style. It actually resembled how I used to try and draw people in my own journal as a kid. It really fit the tone of being geared for younger audiences in a good way., though it’s clear he isn’t afraid to show some more gruesome scenes. After all, it’s still an Image comic; got to have some blood and gore. The panels are also on a dark brown backdrop, like signs homeless individuals often use. It’s a minor detail, but it really helps set the tone of the narrative that this story is about a spunky girl from the streets.

Courtesy of Image Comics

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All in all, STREET ANGEL: SUPERHERO FOR A DAY is a fairly light comic about being a superhero. Some need powers to do it, others do not. Sometimes the best heroes don’t exactly do it for the right reasons, but they still find themselves saving the day in the end. It’s nothing particularly deep, but it’s enjoyable. Plus, who doesn’t love badass girl ninjas?

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