A steampunk post-apocalypse world meets modern day western in Lola XOXO. The story follows a young girl separated from her family after explosions rip through the nation. This being the first issue, most of it just introduces characters and sets you up for an impeding adventure! I deliberately try going out of my way to pick comics with female leads so that I can avoid some of the blatant misogyny, but it still feels like I’m being bombarded with sexist undertones. Lola XOXO, although on its way to a potentially great storyline fell a little short for me.
Also, just want to note that there doesn’t seem to be any ladies besides Lola after the apocalypse, kind of odd.
So often, female leads just become these characters that are portrayed purposely for the male gaze; which can detract from character depth and development. Lola’s character struggles with hyper-masculine males that not only doubt her ability but take it upon themselves to put in her place. This problematic theme is pretty common in comic books and I was hoping for something a little different. I mean yeah she totally kicks ass and holds her own, but you can show a character is strong without the cat calling.
Anyway, Lola is taken in by a man named Conrad after the apocalypse hits and it seems that he has become a sort of surrogate father. Well, Lola wants to explore the world and reunite with her parents, but Conrad doesn't seem too fond of the idea. I’m guessing Lola is maybe in her late teens because still has a bit of that teen angst that drives her to steal a horse and brawl in a full out bar fight. Then the issue concludes with a mysterious gentleman appearing and he looks like bad news.
Even though there were some problematic elements there were things I did like. For one, the art is fucking amazing; I dig the doe eyed look all the characters have. I like the style it’s got a bit of that tough steampunk flavor too. And again, I do think Lola has potential; the concept is unique and Lola, yeah she’s a bad ass.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Siya Oum Publisher: Aspen Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/9/14 Format: Print/Digital