Image Comics’ Self/Made No. 3 review: It’s time for a team-up


Rebecca and Amala must team up in Self/Made No. 3 if they are to prove how important Rebecca’s creation is. But they need to trust each other first.

Self/Made No. 3

Writer: Mat Groom

Artist: Eduardo Ferigato

Colours: Marcelo Costa

Self/Made No. 3 cover (Credit: Images Comics)

Video game creator Rebecca is out to prove how groundbreaking her creation, Amala of Arcadia, is. Despite being a non-playable character, Amala has gained sentience, and she will revolutionize AI in the world. But only if Rebecca can prove Amala is no fluke. In Self/Made No. 3, Rebecca and Amala have started a new game, and they need to work together to stop Prince Brycemere (Rebecca’s oh-so-tedious male colleague, Bryce). That is easier said than done, however.

Amala is shocked by her surroundings, and she understandably doesn’t trust Rebecca. One can hardly blame her – Amala’s world  crumbled around her and she’s being told that she isn’t a real person. Perhaps this is just the magic of Teronak, the evil terrorist of Arcadia, but to come to a decisive conclusion, Amala and Rebecca have to survive first. Can they make their partnership work before Bryce kills them?

Self/Made No. 3 is an exciting romp that brings together the two sides of this comic book’s universe. In the game of Arcadia, the fantastical creatures are terrifying to behold, but it is the master who commands them that is more terrifying. In the real world, Rebecca is faced with an incompetent boss, who is swayed by Bryce’s petty rivalry. She is a woman in a man’s world, but will she suffer for it?

The two protagonists – Rebecca and Amala – are strong female characters, but not only because they have big guns. They are passionately determined to win, to uncover the truth, and to fight injustice. There’s a stunning scene where Amala has to shake off her fears and take control of the situation, which will give every reader goosebumps.

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To the outside world, Rebecca may appear meek – her male colleagues continuously mock her – but she is anything but. It will be exciting to see how her character develops over the course of the series.

Despite Self/Made being a series created and drawn by three men, one gets the sense of respect Groom, Ferigato and Costa have for the female characters. Bryce is misogynistic and his utterances make one’s skin crawl, but none of it – so far – has been lascivious or gratuitous. Far too often, writers and artists impose their own prejudiced perspectives on characters, without actually commenting on the same. It is commendable how the Self/Made series creators have created a world with frustratingly genuine sentiments but haven’t sunk to embodying those sensibilities in their work.

Self/Made No. 3 (Credit: Images Comics)

Of course, writing with modern tastes would be nothing without art to compliment it. It’s ridiculous to point out in 2019, but the ladies in Self/Made No. 3 wear space suits that are unisex and practical. Ferigato’s art and Costa’s colours are breathtaking. There are panels that will make you flinch from how brilliant the light shines. It is stupendous to look at.

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This series has been outstanding since issue one. The denouement of Self/Made No. 3 promises further intrigue and even more character development for the protagonists in upcoming issues. If Self/Made continues in this vein, it could very well be one of the best comic series of 2019.