Characters with the ability to change form are relatively common; less common, or at least less commonly used, is the ability to change sex—but that’s the premise behind the comic “Flutter,” written by Jennie Wood and illustrated by Jeff McComsey.
The main character of the series, Lily, is a fifteen-year-old girl, who becomes “transgenic” as the results of an experiment undertaken to save her grandmother; she also has super-strength and heals much faster than she should. Like most teenagers, she’s struggling to find her place in the world—and being able to physically change into a boy only makes things even more complicated.
In an interview with PolicyMic, Wood explained, “The root of this story was growing up in a small southern town, working at the local movie theater and watching other people—including my older brothers—on dates. I would sit there and dream about being a boy and taking someone on a date.”
She added, “Issues of gender and sexuality are something I’m passionate about. My novel, ‘A Boy Like Me,’ has a transgender main character. For Lily in ‘Flutter,’ life is easier as a boy and people like her more that way, but it’s hard in other ways.”
Though author Jennie Wood is a confirmed superhero comic fan, Lily isn’t your typical superhero; in the 24-page preview, she’s just coming to terms with her powers, and actually unhappy about how her healing factor keeps her from being “like everyone else.”
When Lily arrives in a new city, however, she finds herself interested in a girl her age—so when she enrolls in school, she does it as a boy named Jesse. Life as a boy seems easier at first, but her efforts to mold herself into a certain girl’s dream boy still mean she’s pretending to be someone she’s not, no matter how convincing her appearance.
Helping matters even less is her family situation; moving frequently is hard on any kid, but Lily’s not an army brat. Her father is part of a mysterious group, of whom the first volume reveals little—but the first thing the reader sees of them is the apparent leader of their group, referred to as Governor Hamilton, telling a crowd about their plans for putting a ban on marriage equality on the ballot in all fifty states.
The second thing the reader sees is one of their group killing two men via remote-control bomb.
The first volume of the series, “Flutter: Hell Can Wait,” debuted in February 2013, by independent publisher 215 Ink. Volume 2, as yet untitled, is in the works.