REVIEW: In #ZoeMG, your emojis get away from you

Comic News
#ZoeMG
#ZoeMG #1

#ZoeMG #1

Writer: Danielle Paige
Artist: PJ Kaiowá
Colorist: Yenny Laud
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Publisher: InterPop

#ZoeMG #1 from digital publisher InterPop opens on a young girl realizing she has superpowers… And while this may hardly be a rarity in comics, Zoe sets herself apart by having a truly strange ability: not only can summon floating emoticons, but those emoji have a serious influence over those around her (and in some instances, those not-so-around her).

Hooked on a Feeling

Like many other comics, #ZoeMG is set in a world where many teenagers (and others) have superpowers. However, the comic does a good job of setting itself apart by giving its characters some unusual power sets.

In addition to Zoe’s persuasive emoticons, there’s also a student named Maser. Just like some of the X-Men, Maser’s abilities at first seemed like a curse, transforming him into a sentient gas. But thanks to a special suit, he’s able to attend classes (sort of like the Medusians on Star Trek).

As far as the themes go, they are largely focused around ideas of social media, with an emphasis on how consent plays in. At one point, Zoe compares her ability to manipulate people’s emotions to the Prince kissing Sleeping Beauty, and at another, a video is shared of a fellow student without permission. 

It’s interesting to see the ways that these timely topics are integrated into the story, particularly the way that multiple different characters taking the time to accuse Zoe of spending too much time taking selfies. 

While it remains to be seen how this particular “selfie subplot” may play out, it’s a realistic one: anyone who spends even a few minutes online knows that both many social media users love to take selfies… and OTHER social media users love to judge those same people for their auto-photographic activities. While it’s possible Zoe will eventually become convinced by those around her who repeatedly mock her for her selfie-taking, I’m hopeful that this predilection towards photographing herself ultimately proves to be an avenue for her to assert her identity and abiltiies.

Meanwhile, the artwork has a suitable emphasis on the emotions of the characters, which are presented as larger than life (which is both well-suited to Zoe’s emotion-based abilities and makes sense for a cast that is largely comprised of dramatic teenagers – literally, several characters are in the drama club).

And at the conclusion of the issue, Zoe uncovers an interesting wrinkle that promises to make the next chapter engaging. 

If this all seems like a lot to fit into a single issue, it is, and at times #ZoeMG swerves a little too far from subtlety in dialogue as it hustles to include all of its manifold plot threads. But the presumption that a comic must be a perfect 10/10 in order to be a worthy opening is a ridiculous one!

#ZoeMG swings for the fences with some of its ideas, and while not all of its elements are firing on all cylinders yet, you can easily see how this inaugural issue can fully find its footing in the next issue or two… and with this unusual superheroic set-up, #ZoeMG is dripping with potential!

Feels Good, Feels Right

You don’t have to take my word for it – why don’t you check out the first issue of #ZoeMG for yourself? It’s available to read now over on InterPop’s website.

Did you get a chance to read the inaugural issue of #ZoeMG? What did you think of it? The Beat wants to hear from you! Let us know, either here in the comment section or with an emoji-laded message over on social media @comicsbeat.

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