This is a little bit different “My Top Rack” this week as the person of focus isn’t like your traditional “Top Rack” candidates. For one, she doesn’t have any hardcore or bad ass super powers that puts her above all the others. She isn’t even particularly that inspiring when you see her at work early on. If truth be known, she is kind of irritating early. Not to mention that she is nothing more than just a kid trying to have a voice amongst adults. But as the issues of The Woods have progressed, we are beginning to see a resolve and inner conviction that makes this young lady very solid “Top Rack” material. So, it is my great pleasure to name one Miss Maria Ramirez as “My Top Rack” character for this week. There are three things that I feel make Miss Ramirez solid “Top Rack” material….
- She has an inner strength and leadership that will allow her to persevere and maybe even help her entire school survive the ordeal that they have been thrust into within the pages of this story.
- I just can’t get enough of reading The Woods written by James Tynion IV and drawn by Michael Dialynas. Comic Bastards’ Maestro Dustin Cabeal turned me onto this comic (read review) and I have been hooked on it ever since. This story, which is a mixture of the television show Lost and a John Hughes movie from the 1980s has captured my imagination and has kept me really entertained over the entire summer months. It is awesome good reading.
- I think in a time when the comics industry is really taking a look at the role of women and minorities and their portrayals really resonate together in the form of Miss Ramirez who hits them all and is shown to be a very strong and worthy character, not some stereotype. The girl brings it and should be viewed with pride as she arguably is the most level-headed and dare I say, ballsy person in this story to date. And keeping one’s head is a real big task here as The Woods is one sick and twisted mind fuck of a story. They need a Maria to bring things through or they are all going to surely be dead.
Maria Ramirez is the Student Body President of Bay Point Preparatory High School in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Everything about this school is typical school…That is until it disappears without a trace one day. The school has been transported to a strange world filled with bizarre symbols, structures and is completely surrounded by dense thick and ominous woods. The entire school in just mere seconds has switched from one where social survival is critical to one where actual survival is critical. Pretty cool, huh? Of course, everyone has their ideas as to what should be done to survive. Many of the adults do and as the issues begin to move along, we see theirs to be one more of a command and control type system lead by the fascist inspired Coach Clay and his band of jock enforcers. On other sides we see Principal Beaumont wanting to tamper a mix of control, but also order without maybe Clay’s fascist inspirations. But he is really pretty powerless to the coaches whims (and muscles). And of course, we have Miss Maria who wants to be democratic and work together to find a solution. Such scandalous behavior for a teen. No wonder the adults don’t like her and her messy ideas. This free thinking and outspokenness (of which Maria is both), gets her locked up so as not to bug the grown ups again. But as things progress, Maria begins to have more of a say and is now to the point in issue #4 that she becomes a player once again for control using nothing more than her will and her reason. Maria may be small in stature and maybe even physical power. But she is determined and ready to make things right in a proper format rather than in a panic-stricken martial law type way that the adults seem to think will work. No, Maria wants to maintain composure and looks not to preserve order, but to preserve safety and democracy. Hell, she might even just make it work. Long live democracy!!! Events occur in Issue #4 that will begin to place the young Miss Ramirez right into the fire, but you get the feeling that she will be ready. Nothing has stopped this lady yet. Not belittling her authority, locking her up, or even trying to intimidate her with brute force and threats. She has remained steadfast and shown what a woman of strength and character can be like whether they have superpowers or not. She is a role model and I give huge props to Tynion IV for not only making her such a tough character but for making her a minority as well. Awesome man, simply awesome. As to the outcomes of The Woods, I have not the slightest clue what will happen next. The school is in deep and things don’t look so promising. But, I am 100% certain that if President Ramirez is guiding the helm, that there may just be a shot for some survival after all. Good luck lady. I salute you (salutes…). Also, if I failed to mention it, read The Woods. It kicks heavy ass.