She Kills unleashes an aspect of American Culture I wasn’t Familiar With
I’m going to preface this article by saying one thing: I have little context to the Tongvan people in terms of their culture, values or struggles as an indigenous community. That said, let’s get right into the review.
SHE KILLS #1 is a dark, thought provoking book at indigenous cultures leading up to what would eventually come to be known as North America (or the USA). Their struggles and their way of life set against a backdrop of a barren wasteland.
Written by Patrick Meighan (Family Guy), She Kills is a confronting historical look at the way the Tongva people lived prior to the establishment of Los Angeles.
The Mother/Daughter Dynamic
She Kills #1 spends a fair bit of time establishing the characters in the book as having little more possessions than the clothes on their backs. Characters including key protagonist She Kills and her daughter Joaquin Dos. She Kills is played off as a cold and calculating serial killer who cares for no one except her own flesh and blood.
Whereas Joaquin is the logical thinker of the pair who will do what she believes is necessary for the two of them to survive. Seemingly unaware of what consequences will follow.
The mother-daughter dynamics are clearly being set up towards the tail-end of the book as an antagonistic power struggle that will flow onto future issues. As both of them can see the inherent character flaws in one another.
Speaking of flaws – I could’ve done without the shitting scene.
Yes it’s there. And yes that’s a sentence I never thought I would’ve typed in a comic book review.
She Kills #1 and the Tongva Context
I understand what Meighan is trying to do with further establishing the squalor the Tongvan’s live in. However, by this point in the book it’s unnecessary – we’ve witnessed a child with severed hands and the bartering for human life. What more do we need? It just seems like an unnecessary cherry on the cake.
What Meighan succeeds in is by establishing old world America as a tough landscape for all to circumnavigate. Though I know this comic book isn’t centrally written to highlight the intricacies of the Tongva culture. I still would’ve liked to see something that establishes a bit of context around the origins of She Kills. Here’s hoping we get that in issue 2.
This comic book has certainly opened my mind to a harsher period in American history with view to appreciate its cultural underpinnings.