Her Impact! Review

Posted December 21, 2017 by Panda Emily Jarrell in Comic Books

Her Impact! is an upcoming manga-style indie comic about Sadie Hiroshi, the African-Japanese daughter of a renowned Japanese professional boxer and a Canadian sports reporter. Sadie currently finds herself spending her late twenties in a law office job that she hates so that she can support herself and her adorable manga-loving son, Aiden, but a chance encounter with a boy from a local boxing gym puts her on the path to taking up her father’s boxing legacy.

In general, previews for manga-style comics tend to be fairly short, but Her Impact! #0 is actually a full twenty pages. By the time I was done reading it, I was absolutely desperate for more. Sadie is a very fun character, whether she’s silently fuming about her awful boss or naively attempting to buy her son his favorite manga (only the clean versions, of course). Even more than being just a story about boxing, this is the story of a charismatic woman doing her best to chase her passion while providing for her family.

I especially love Her Impact!’s art style; the action sequences, most notably one in the beginning where Sadie narrates her father’s story, are incredibly dynamic, leaving me very excited for future scenes of Sadie in the ring. Every facial expression is packed with emotion, perfectly conveying the mood of each panel. Artist Digitkame really nails the book’s manga-style art, and it deftly complements writer Mikel Miles’ wit and charm in a way that made me nostalgic for a lot of the manga I grew up reading in middle and high school.

One of the most interesting aspects of Her Impact is Sadie being African-Japanese; dark skin isn’t entirely absent from the manga industry, but outside notable exceptions like Afro Samurai and Michiko to Hatchin, it’s relatively rare to see dark-skinned main characters in comics like this. My familiarity with Japanese racial politics is somewhat limited, but I know enough to know that it’s a divisive issue, so I can’t help but wonder if Sadie’s race will come up in future issues. That being said, the world can always use more stories about dark-skinned characters where race isn’t one of the central issues.

My only real complaint about Her Impact! #0 is the amount of expository dialogue, but I’m even willing to overlook that considering the function of this preview is to set up the rest of the story. Additionally, I hope future issues will explore more of Sadie’s past, as I’m curious about the effect her dad’s fame had on her upbringing and growth into adulthood.

Her Impact! #0 is currently available for free, so there’s nothing to lose in checking it out if it sounds like something you might enjoy. If anything, give it a download just to get a look at Sukma Agustriyana’s excellent full-color interstitial art of Sadie at home and at the gym. I can’t wait to find out how Sadie juggles her work life, her home life, and her burgeoning interest in boxing.

About the Author

Panda Emily Jarrell