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uperheroes are experiencing something of a golden period these days, and it’s encouraging to see an increase in diverse representation among these powerful characters.

For example, the Captain Marvel movie has been highly impactful in terms of female representation in the genre, and superhero fans are also eagerly awaiting the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984. There are rumblings that Tony Stark’s comic book protege Riri Williams, a.k.a. Ironheart, could take over his mantle in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Dreamer, a transgender superhero who appears on The CW’s Supergirl, has received significant attention, as well. And in the comics, T’Challa’s sister Shuri is currently filling the role of the Black Panther. And characters like Ms. Marvel, a fan-favorite and prominent Muslim superhero, and Miss America, a queer Latinx hero, have been stepping up their game in the series Marvel Rising.

Jazmin Truesdale took it a step further by creating an entire universe of impressive female superheroes (and a goddess who’s inspired by Diana Ross).

I had the opportunity to catch up with her about what motivated her to launch Aza Comics and where she plans to take her characters in the future.

Sarah CookeCan you give us a little background about the Aza Universe and maybe a brief overview of the main premise or story arcs so far?

Jazmin Truesdale: The Aza Universe is fantasy and magic. A place of limitless possibilities where anything and everything is possible. I took that concept and applied it to female superheroes. I wanted to create a place of escapism where women and girls could see themselves represented in their full power and glory and be inspired to do that in real life.

The Aza Universe consists of seven realms that house infinite planets and each realm represents the major ethnic groups of the world. I use a lot of science in my creative process so in Aza there’s constant discovery of what could be or what could have been. In each story you never know what creature, what human evolution, or new anything that you’re going to come across.

The first book, The Keepers: Origins, dives into the universe and gives you backstory on how the main characters, the Keepers, get to earth and why. There have been many Keepers, or Askari, but the current one, Kiran, is corrupt and terrorizing the realms. The Gods decide to take his powers and give them to a new group of Askari and this is the first time that women have been chosen to protect the universe. Kiran is doing anything and everything that he can to find them and get rid of them to regain his powers and eventually claim ultimate power for himself.

 

Read the entire interview HERE

ne of the strengths that episodic adventure franchise Life is Strange has is the ability to capture the player’s attention. It reminds us of what is important along the way, and ultimately showing that yes, our actions do have consequences. However, the Dontnod Entertainment franchise often falls into the trap of binary thinking; the either/or logic that pervades our politically charged society.


Where it all began

Often praised for the depiction of strong female and queer characters, the first edition of Life is Strange introduced players to Max Caulfield, the shy, introverted photographer, trying to make a name for herself at her new school Blackwell Academy. After witnessing a murder in the girls bathroom, Max realizes she has the ability to rewind time with a lift of her hand, a power that solves many of her everyday struggles. But this also causes Max’s world to begin to fracture and pull apart at the seams.

After coming face-to-face with her best friend, Chloe Price, whom she previously lost touch with, Life is Strange leads characters through a wonderfully written narrative of friendship, love, and what it means to lose yourself completely. 

Read the entire review HERE
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