As regular Scoop readers know, during the disruption caused by the COVID-19 virus, we’ve featured reviews of individual back issues, runs, collected editions, and original graphic novels that captured and held our attention over the long haul. Now that “new comics Wednesday” has returned in some form for many around the country, we’ve decided to continue including great older comics among our features. Remember, once your store is open, checking out their back issue bins is a great way to #BackTheComeback.

Malika: Warrior Queen Part One
YouNeek Studios; $14.99

Set during the 15th century in West Africa, Malika is the queen and military commander of Azzaz. Her kingdom is dealing with split allegiance and tension in her inner council and, if that weren’t enough, the region is being infiltrated by a dangerous military leader from the Ming Dynasty.

Despite the onslaught of danger, Malika handles it well, making intelligent moves and brave decisions. There are certainly faithful members in her kingdom, but politics, misplaced faith, and pride have led to a complicated situation.

Malika was written by series creator Roye Okupe with art by Chima Kalu and colors by Raphael Kazeem. Filled with drama and action, it is a great story with an emotional hook, militaristic strategizing, great characters, and entertaining action. She is an honorable heroine, both smart and tough, that will appeal to fans of grand scope stories. The artwork is also beautiful, with color contrasts that balance the vivid clothing and battle armor with the natural beauty of the landscape.

-Amanda Sheriff