Is’nana the Were-Spider: Showtime
Writer: Greg Anderson Elysee
Pencils: Miguel Blanco
Inks: Miguel Blanco
Colors: Angael Davis-Cooper
Letters: Deron Bennett/ Andworld Design
Publisher: Webway Comics
**Minor Spoilers Follow**
Independent comics are continuously rising with new and exciting content. One could even say that it is an over-saturated mark these days, but all to my delight. I love comics and it is always great to see new and unique stories being created. That being the case it is also not as easy to come up with something different and interesting, yet Greg Anderson- Elysee has managed to do both. His comic Is’nana the Were-Spider: Showtime is fun and relatable for most readers.
The story is about a young boy, or better yet a spider, who is the son of the African god Anansi the Spider. Now right here is where it gets a little weird for me because I truly hate spiders. To see them in any other way rather than creepy, I would have never even dreamed was an option. Is’nana is on a mission to hunt down and stop the evil horrors taking place in our world. It does seem though that he is still young, a teen even, and having such a tough and demanding responsibility can be a lot. What makes Is’nana the Were-Spider: Showtime such an entertaining story is that we get to see that Is’nana is young and still wants to be young, even if it is not something he is used to.
Elysee has written a character that is from another plane and is out of his element. He is very naive or uninformed about the everyday things that we do and have. He really sticks out like a sore thumb, yet has unique qualities that cause people to like him. It is refreshing to see a character that is not your typical being or personality deal with everyday life.
He is fully aware of his responsibilities and although they are demanding he never loses sight of what he was sent here to do, which is admirable. In the comic, Is’nana is introduced to break dancing by a friend named Roger. His friend knows Is’nana’s true nature and encourages him to go and try and see new things.
They are out and about and encounter a group of Black adolescents breaking dancing. Is’nana is fascinated by their moves and the pure enjoyment that the dancers get from dancing. He is later shown some break-dancing videos by Roger and learns the moves very quickly. Is’nana then comes across the same group of dancers and joins in this time and shows them some dope skills. The dancers are awestruck at his skills and ask Is’nana if he wants to hang out with them.
He hangs out with them for the day and they teach him about “normal” stuff that he should know. They think he’s from a country in Africa which they feel explains why he is so out of touch with somethings, like shoes. Elysee does an excellent job of incorporating humor as well as cultural influence and current issues such as racial injustices we are facing right now. It is a piece that can be enjoyed from multiple angles, with a solid storyline. I feel that the development of this character is a great draw because of his age as well as his personality. I wonder who Is’nana will become as his experiences in this world grows. I also wonder how these experiences will influence his perception of us as humans, and will the things we do affect or change him.
There are numerous questions that come to mind thinking about the foes Is’nana faces that we seem to be unaware of as humans. We saw that there is some villainous creature that Is’nana has to defeat called Impundulu, which is a terrifying being that has powers and can shape shift as well. It will be exciting to see what other foes pop up for Is’nana to combat.
As far as Is’nana’s power set we only get a few glances and references to what he is capable of and they are pretty impressive. He is able to turn into a human-spider form that would be best referred to as a were-spider. He is strong as well as being able to communicate with other spiders. The art and colors have the same cultural and fun feeling as the story itself, but also melds with the kind of atmosphere it seems to portray. Not so strict or intricately detailed like some comics, but it works for the overall feeling. I would say that all in all I enjoyed this comic and would love to follow Is’nana’s evolution into what can be considered a hero, if spiders can be called heroes.
Amber T. Hubbard is a writer, journalist and creator of Kasiah: Mother Nature Incarnate a comic which is coming soon. She was also featured in Sheena Howard’s Encyclopedia of Comics, and has been writing since she was 12 years old.