There’s a lot of mystery surrounding the redheaded pirate known as Anne Bonny. She appears in Captain Charles Johnson’s A General History of the Pyrates, but that information leaves her Wikipedia entry short on details, which means writer Stephanie Phillips and artist Craig Cermak have lots of room to get creative in A Man Among Ye #1.
A Man Among Ye #1
Craig Cermak (artist), Brittany Pezzillo (colourist), Troy Peteri (letterer), Stephanie Phillips (writer), Elena Salcedo (editor)
Top Cow Productions
June 17, 2020
A Man Among Ye #1 opens in the middle of a heated battle, where Captain Calico Jack Rackham and his crew have boarded one of Her Majesty’s ships, with no intention of sparing any of its crew once they have secured the booty. Jack’s life is threatened at one point, prompting the introduction of the fiery Anne Bonny with an entrance that would make Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood proud. Anne proceeds to dominate the panels from here on out, not just because of the sweeping red locks and affectations that colourist Brittany Pezzillo lovingly focuses on, but because of her unerring determination and lack of fear she displays in everything she does. On the sinking ship, she has no care for survivors, and on her own ship, she meets sexism with her fists.
But Jack’s affection for Anne, and the fact that he has dared to bring a woman on the ship and treat her with seemingly more respect that than her male crew mates sets the scene for potential mutiny. Add a vengeful governor and a stowaway with a secret and you’ve got a first issue that promises lots of swashbuckling adventure.
What little is known about Anne’s history does involve another female pirate named Mary Read whom it is believed was also Anne’s lover, along with Jack. Whether Phillip’s story will explore that relationship remains to be seen, along with some of the other sparse details of Anne’s legendary history, such as her pirate informant former husband. Having recently spent time with a different portrayal of Anne through the television series Black Sails, I am curious to follow the adventures of this interpretation. In our interview earlier in the year, Cermak and Phillips spoke about the ways in which their research helped shape the character on these particular pages, as well as the settings of piracy in the 1720s.
Letterer Troy Peteri peppers the pages with a crisp, clean font that sneaks in some serifs that give it a jaunty, piratical feel. Given the sharp angles and points combined with the font’s slight curves, I wouldn’t be surprised if the font is actually called Anne Bonny, based on how A Man Among Ye chooses to portray her. Similar to other redheaded comic book heroes, the colour red permeates the book, often with panels that are otherwise subdued with monochromatic blues or grays, ensuring that Anne pops in every scene through a harmony of words, actions, and colour. This is a woman who is constantly in the face of anyone who questions or opposes her. She’s ready to fight at any moment and the creative team want to make sure you never doubt that.