I picked up The Frame-Up because of it’s comic book writer protagonist and superhero tagline. And I was not disappointed.
MG Martin lives and breathes geek culture. She even works as a writer for the comic book company she idolized as a kid. But despite her love of hooded vigilantes, MG prefers her comics stay on the page.
But when someone in LA starts recreating crime scenes from her favorite comic book, MG is the LAPD’s best—and only—lead. She recognizes the golden arrow left at the scene as the calling card of her favorite comic book hero. The thing is…superheroes aren’t real. Are they?
When the too-handsome-for-his-own-good Detective Kildaire asks for her comic book expertise, MG is more than up for the adventure. Unfortunately, MG has a teeny little tendency to not follow rules. And her off-the-books sleuthing may land her in a world of trouble.
Because for every superhero, there is a supervillain. And the villain of her story may be closer than she thinks…
I immediately loved MG. From the very first moment she told off the guy in the coffee shop. She said everything aloud that I only think in my head. MG isn’t afraid to expose everything, to live life exactly as she wishes, purple hair and chipped nail polish and all. She’s a total nerd in the best way. As the only woman in an all male comic book studio, MG experiences the sexism first hand. Defying stereotypes, MG has had to have a tough skin.
Not because she sits back and says nothing, but because of the amount of ways in which she is confronted with other’s sexism. I felt an instant empathy for her, in the way the higher ups fail to listen to her. All those times where I, as a woman, would say an idea, only for it to be met with a lack of enthusiasm, only for a man to rephrase what I said and have it be met with admiration. I lost track of the amount of times this happened in my Master’s alone.
At the same time, the characters around her also had some good depth, like the swoony Matteo. But what I loved, and what I still think I need to learn, is not to let our expectations get the best of us. MG talks about how her expectations that she would not be welcome or invited to company events would surprise her. If we are expecting the world to see us a certain way, or to treat us a certain way, we don’t leave room for surprised. But we also don’t leave room for others to challenge those expectations.
I think I suffer from that as well. So convinced people have poor intentions, or have a certain mindset of me. The other day I was at a Christmas Market and someone asked where I was from. I get this question all the time. The reactions range from, “where are you really from?” all the way to being upset with my answer of the US. Especially in Germany, but it happened to me in Pennsylvania during my Bachelor’s as well.
(With there being the worst where they tried to convince me they knew some Chinese, which was not at all Chinese, nor would I even know if it was real sentences since I don’t speak Chinese. Which turned out irrelevant because they just said Konichiwa and stuff like that, which was insulting in a variety of ways, especially since this was at a bar).
So I immediately assumed it was going to be some cringe-worthy moment. If this happened at bars, elevators, parties, why not add a Christmas market to it. But instead when I said the US, he then complimented me on my German. I was not only flattered, because I’m so self-conscious of my German, but surprised. Because it wasn’t what I was expecting, and I was already preparing myself to go into defense eye-rolling mode.
The Frame-Up is a fast paced adventure. It integrates comic books, mysteries, and a dash of romance. With the line between reality and the comic world being crossed, MG has to figure out who the culprit could be. If you like police themed books, nerd references, and a kick ass heroine, The Frame-Up is up your alley.