: New York, NY

Hey there! I’m Mara, I’ve lived in three locations throughout her entire life: Ellicott City, Maryland; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; and Marathon, Florida. Currently, I am a 20 year old student of Barnard College of Columbia University studying film. My huge love of comics has driven a surprising amount of my life’s choices.

What is your favorite comic book and why?

If I had to pick one, I’d probably go with The Sandman vol. I, Nocturnes Preludes. That to me showed how with clever writing melded with beautiful imagery could make a story become folklore. It’s a work of art, even the biggest naysayers of comic books can’t deny that.

If you could have one superpower what would it be?

This might be cheating but I’d probably want to control the elements, kind of like the avatar. Mostly because they’d be a wonderful spectacle and terribly convenient for travel.

What comics make you happy?

Nimona, it’s such a great story that always gives me a sense of feeling complete. Ms. Marvel: No Normal is another one that I can simply pick up and just read with this huge grin on my face. Kamala is too relatable. Oddly enough I also like reading the Dark Phoenix Saga, mostly because the epic story makes me feel as though I am a part of something greater than before.

Which comic book characters do you most admire?

Barbara Gordon, especially after the events of the Killing Joke, completely blew me away. How she was so strong after everything that had happened to her makes me feel like I can do anything. Kamala Khan is admirable for how relatable she is, but how despite her being so young willing to fight for what she knows to be right.

Which comic book characters do you most despise?

I probably wouldn’t say I “despise” him, but I really cannot stand Wolverine most of the time. He always wanted to go off and leave the X-Men, just drove me nuts. I’d give anything to fight alongside them.

What is the quality you most like in a creator (writer or artist)?

Creators who can use the skills of those around them to create an amazing collaborative project always blows my mind.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Cool beans, dude, awesome, nice nice, cool cool cool, scrub, and I use finger guns unironically a lot. Basically, if you’ve seen a middle school boy do it, I’ve probably done it way too much.

Which comic book character would you most easily fall in love with?

Poison Ivy. She does technically have those seduction capabilities, and I can’t help but admit I think she’s super cool even if she is a villain.

Which creator talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be able to draw well. I’ve tried practicing but I’ve never really been able to get my hand to recreate what I have in my head.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing (character or creator), what would it be?

A pterodactyl, ideally one that could talk to complain about why my species has a silent p.

What fictional universe would you most like to live?

Avatar: The Last Airbender’s and Legend of Korra’s. It always seems like there’s something exciting going on there. Unless you’re a non-bender. Then you cry about your cabbages.

What comic is your most treasured possession?

Okay, I’ll be the first one to admit that it’s not a good comic, but I have this really old scholastic Spider-Girl comic that I’m quite attached to. I remember getting it at those book fairs they have in the elementary schools and it was one of the first “real comics” I owned. So there’s some sentimental value in it whether it’s warranted or not.

What do you most value in your friends?

How supportive they are in everyone’s ambitions. Nothing is impossible for them, and if you need a shoulder to cry on they will always be there for you.

Who are your favorite writers?

I adore Neil Gaiman, both in comics and out, so he has to be mentioned somewhere on this list. Grant Morrison completely blew my mind when I first read Animal Man, so that has to be on the list. I’d also have to say Chris Claremont, his writing may be over the top but it’s like candy to me; can’t get enough of it.

Who is your hero of comic book fiction?

Barbara Gordon, she was in a wheelchair for the longest time but she didn’t stop being a hero, using what skills she had to be an amazing member of the Birds of Prey.

Which comic book figure do you most identify with?

Well I’ve gone on about her enough but again, Kamala Khan. I was, and in many ways still am, a lot like her. Not always knowing how to handle a situation but wanting to do right by your morals and your family is something I will always understand. That, and freaking out over various heroes online.

Who are your heroes in real life?

I’m going to have to say, my parents. They’ve always encouraged me and my brother to strive to be the greatest we can be no matter what, even if the fields we’ve been interested in weren’t always the most traditional. They’d also listen to my excited rantings about what I was reading or had watched, even if they hadn’t seen it themselves. Thanks for making me think nothing is impossible, love you guys.

What is the comic book that you most dislike?

Angel Catbird vol I. by Margret Atwood probably takes the case. Which is a shame because she’s such an excellent writer, it just felt to me that she didn’t fully grasp the medium she was working with and thus the story feels a bit stilted and generic.

What comic storyline would you most like to change?

While this has already been changed by writers, Avengers #200, the dubious storyline with Carol Danvers and Marcus, would be one I’d like to completely rewrite so she would have had more power in that situation, or completely have avoided the situation, to begin with. Carol Danvers is a strong woman, she can fight her own battles.

Which comic book character do you think should die a permanent non-comic book death?

Wolverine. He’s been really overused and the angst can be a lot at times.

What is your personal motto?

Opportunity can be found in the strangest of places.

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