Amelia Cole and the Hidden War: At War With Herself
IDW releases the second trade in the adventures of a teenage mage and her ever growing responsibilities in Amelia Cole and the Hidden War.
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As a woman pop culture consumer, I am always extremely excited and steeped in anticipation for a great female lead that can roll with the boys. Unfortunately, with Amelia Cole, my expectations fell a little short.
Written by Eisner-winner Adam P. Knave and Do You Believe in Ninjas? author D.J. Kirkbride, Amelia Cole and the Hidden War rejoins our heroine, Amelia, who had been charged with the title of Protector—a police-type enforcement position entrusted with apprehending those inappropriately using magic.
Amelia and her golem sidekick, Lemmy, battle various criminals throughout the course of the book. However, the one perp who continues to evade the young mage is her own boss, the Magistrate, who seems to have something nefarious planned for the titular young lead. At the same time, a secret war is taking place in a far away desert where a former Protector Hank, is fighting an array of scary kaiju.
The story had a wavering ebb and flow that never seemed to arrive at a clear resolution. Amelia fights bad guys, she wrestles with her new responsibilities, the magistrate continues to plan his mysterious plot, Hank fights a monster, and wash, rinse, repeat. Even by the end of the book, I was still unclear as to the motives, intent or even specific plan of the magistrate. Amelia had no clue what he was up to, and neither did I.
Unfortunately, I didn’t relate to our tiny hero and that bothered me. I felt this character, created by two men, was a cool idea but lacked any depth or a hint of real life teenager. I couldn’t relate to her problems, which is semi-understandable because I only pretend to know magic and can’t even pull off a decent card trick. Yet, I found myself wishing Knave and Kirkbride had added some real-life issues facing teenage girls to make me care more about Amelia Cole on a personal level.
Still, I enjoyed the art by Nick Brokenshire very much and it definitely added to the more mystical elements of the story. There are plenty of rich colors and fanciful characters that I would happily tear out and display on my wall, and my walls are already full.
Still, in the absence of a truly compelling narrative, I give this effort a wand and a half with a carrier owl thrown in for delicious art direction.