Published by KaBoom, an imprint of Boom! Studios, Brave Chef Briana is one of their newer titles to show an expansion in content in comics–a perfect example of the fact that comics are not just about super heroes. Written by Sam Sykes, with art by Selina Espiritu, colors by Sarah Stern, and cover art by Bridget Underwood, the new series’ third issue arrives this week and brings Briana into conflict with her brother Hans, who has literally “rolled” into town with his new foodtruck. But this is her town, and her success, so what gives?
Well, the icing on the cake is that Briana actually has pretty big family issues, as we might have surmised from the fact that her father basically pushed her out on her own to open a restaurant in a new city. Not only is Hans turning into a rival, but she’s always had to deal with 15 brothers who fight constantly. Now her struggles to get her restaurant off the ground kind of pale in comparison to the strange tensions her background must cause for her, all made real again by the arrival of Hans. This cook-off she’s engaging in with Hans–to keep her territory hers–is all out war for her turf.
Meanwhile, we get a side-plot that Brianna’s being investigated by overly picky local monster chefs who possibly don’t want a human in their midst. So she’s up against that too, as an outsider in a new place. Both her past and her present seem to be fighting Brianna right now. But is she up to the challenge?
The most important thing is that she doesn’t immediately back down and cave to Hans, as she has in the past. This shows a development in Brianna. The fact that she’s willing to face him and stand on her own two feet seems very important to the trajectory of this series. But things aren’t resolved as easy as that–sometimes maybe bravery isn’t enough to make your conflicts in life go away. Especially not when there’s a very big underlying issue you’re not addressing, if you’re like Brianna.
This issue of Brave Chef Brianna is not only funny and interesting, introducing new elements into Brianna’s life, like her relationship with exercise, her brother, and competition, but it also has unexpected emotional depths when it comes to her family background and future relationship with her family. Pick up this week’s comic–you’ll definitely get more than you bargained for. And you’ll probably want cake afterwards. Or maybe tater tots.
Brave Chef Brianna #3 arrives in comic shops today, May 3rd, 2017.