Pirate lore has been colored in all shades of masculinity over the centuries, from its legends to its superstitions. Creators Stephanie Phillips and Craig Cermak are setting their sails against this tradition to bring two real-life female pirates into the fray for Top Cow’s new comic A Man Among Ye.
The series follows Anne Bonny and Mary Read, two women (that actually existed) who dressed as male pirates to be able to join a crew and board a pirate ship without setting off anxieties and insecurities among the men. There had long been several superstitions about women on pirate ships and how they brought bad luck to the crew and their endeavors. This made these kinds of vessels hostile environments for women, especially due to the power sexist myths held against them. Phillips and Cermak aim to give this dynamic an in-depth look without skimming on swashbuckling and naval battles.
The preview pages offered by Image Comics show Anne proudly playing the part of the pirate, violently and gleefully. She’s presented as a dashing anti-hero of sorts, an adventurer with layers of complexity hiding underneath the surface. Readers should expect a character-heavy plot with secrets and revelations aplenty.
What we see of Cermak’s art in the action sequence from the preview—a fight between pirates and English soldiers at sea—carries a kind of summer blockbuster feel to it. If the book is interested in portraying just what it meant to have women stir up the male order of things, it’s definitely looking to do it in spectacular fashion.
Phillips and Cermak have some pretty fascinating characters in Anne and Mary. The former had a history of shooting cowardly pirates from her own side during raids if they weren’t pulling their weight while Mary was known to fight off her lovers’ enemies. These women fought hard for acceptance within their crews and then went the extra mile to maintain their positions and their reputations.
A Man Among Ye #1 is set to land in stores on Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
The preview pages follow below.
A Man Among Ye #1 Cover A by Cermak (Diamond Code MAR200045)
A Man Among Ye #1 Cover B by Sejic (Diamond Code MAR200046)