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Tomboy Puts a Brutal Spin on the Magical Girl Story | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Tomboy features a young girl with magical powers who uses her abilities in some of the most violently creative ways ever.
The Magical Girl is a storytelling trope that goes back to the days of ’60s properties like Bewitched to many modern adventures, not just in Western culture, but very much so in Eastern culture as seen in many anime and manga stories. The concept revolves around girls becoming endowed with powers that help them to change the world, whether it’s as witches, warriors, or even in kooky concepts such as mystical musicians.
One of the more edgy comics that spun its own web on this trope is the 2015 series, Tomboy. It ran for 12 issues from Action Lab Comics, focusing on young Addison Brody as she becomes a vigilante much like Hit-Girl of Kick-Ass. However, thanks to the supernatural spin from Mia Goodwin and Michelle Wong, Addison turns into something much more apocalyptic and brutal, really subverting the idea of Magical Girls being altruistic.
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Addison awakens this latent power within when her bestie, Nick, gets killed and haunts her as a ghost. She eventually stumbles across a pharmaceuticals conspiracy and that changes her from someone watching Candy Castle and fangirling over a fairy, Cheery Cherry. Addison embarks on a murder spree, thereafter, with her grandfather, Anthony, left with no choice but to train her. Little do they know something darker’s taking her over from the inside and they’re pawns of a much bigger endgame. It all has to do with Anthony’s past fighting in World War II, where he got infected by the Scarlet Queen, the monstrous leader of the Scarlet Wing. Its bloodline descended from macabre gods, but was forced into hiding along with the Golden Crown (manipulators of fate) and Shadow Bell (manipulators of life and death). These three comprised the Elder Branch, but the lower bloodlines would try to kill them off in a move for power in the Shadow Wars.
But as Addison would soon realize, the drug scandal involving Ambidrex is actually part of the magnate, Irene Trent’s plan to awaken the Scarlet Queen again. Irene’s actually the Golden Crown avatar and she’s avenging the last Scarlet Queen, Elena. Irene’s drug is infecting Rivergrove and giving the queen new agents of chaos so they can seek retribution for the elite members of the Branch. Addison thought she was killing off Irene’s associates after Nick’s dad got tangled up with them, but Irene was playing her all along.
However, when Irene’s killed by Addison and Elena returns to crown her, a massive twist ensues where Jessica, one of Addison’s friends, has actually been infected and ends up being the queen. Addison’s really her knight, and as Addison kills Elena, it’s clear she wants a new world with Jess — not the one Elena and Irene envisioned. The series ends with Addison being killed by the Shadow Bell’s avatar, Iris, and being turned into a ghost, but it’s left open-ended if Jess and Addison’s ghost would use the scarlet army Irene awoke.
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Now, this is a very gruesome and gory tale with Addison’s mutilating bodies all over. Sadly, she doesn’t realize she’s losing her humanity along the way, especially as she seems to be enjoying the killing. As this progresses, it’s obvious her Magical Girl story would never have a happy ending because deep down, Addison loves giving in, all the name of vengeance. It didn’t matter the lengths, even if it meant killing her family or friends, Addison just needed to finish her crusade. It’s quite sad because had she stopped and remembered the magic of love that her dad, Mark, tried to embed, she and Jessica may well have had a happy ending, together and possibly in love.
But a lot of this is Anthony’s fault. It’s why when he killed Mark to keep the family’s bloodline secret, it was easy for Addison to murder her grandfather. It once more reiterated how they were manipulated into perpetuating that vicious cycle of death. It’s also a testament to how selfish Anthony was as he could have nipped it in the bud but instead, he wanted to live vicariously through Addison and finish the Branch War he couldn’t back in his heyday. It’s a big statement on trust and family and while it could be chalked up to Irene and Iris trying to tempt fate, Anthony’s the one who put her down this path towards literally becoming a demon. Even when he contemplated his actions, Addison had already become a monster, obsessed with bloodshed, driven by rage, and consumed by hatred.
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I’m a former Chemical Engineer. It was boring so I decided to write about things I love. On the geek side of things, I write about comics, cartoons, video games, television, movies and basically, all things nerdy. I also write about music in terms of punk, indie, hardcore and emo because well, they rock! If you’re bored by now, then you also don’t want to hear that I write for ESPN on the PR side of things. And yes, I’ve written sports for them too! Not bad for someone from the Caribbean, eh? To top all this off, I’ve scribed short films and documentaries, conceptualizing stories and scripts from a human interest and social justice perspective. Business-wise, I make big cheddar (not really) as a copywriter and digital strategist working with some of the top brands in the Latin America region. In closing, let me remind you that the geek shall inherit the Earth. Oh, FYI, I’d love to write the Gargoyles movie for Disney. YOLO. That said, I’m on Twitter @RenaldoMatadeen. So holler.


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