I really dislike those contests where people are judged on how they look, instead of the qualifications of the contestant.  Should the most qualified person win?  In the case of the pageant to pick the new Gallant Girl, it all boils down to looks.

gallantgirl1cover.jpgAnd that really is kind of the point behind Shadowline’s I Hate Gallant Girl by Jim Valentino and Kat Cahill.  Miss Maine, aka Renee Tempete, is the most qualified to fill the role of Gallant Girl, but there’s someone prettier (and blonder) that the Fellowship of Freedom would rather be their star girl.  Just how qualified is Renee?  She has the power to control earth, wind, water and fire, while other heroes only master one.  And according to Renee’s argument with Mr. Thunder, the girl that did win barely has any powers at all.

I kind of like the premise behind Gallant Girl.  Knowing that a character will age (or die), and the desire to always have a pretty leading lady on the team, a new Gallant Girl is chosen every ten years in a pageant type setting.  It’s a different take on superhero selection, and is a good way to get a new person in the costume without having some contrived “let’s kill the guy under the cowl and shake up the entire universe” kind of thing that plays out in other series.

Fortunately for Renee, while stranded at the airport, a giant robot attacks and she is able to save the day.  She also manages to impress the Fellowship of Freedom, who decide to make Renee Gallant Girl’s double.  You know the routine, make the “ugly” girl do all the hard work, while the pretty one gets all the credit.  It certainly doesn’t make Renee happy, and it doesn’t sit well with Mr. Thunder either, as he is the only hero on the team in her corner.  By issues end, he does make an interesting proposition for Renee to become his kid-sidekick, and she gladly takes the job.  We’ll have to wait until next issue to see how the rest of the world reacts to the news.

The story moves fairly quickly in this issue, and there isn’t a lot to dwell on besides the big discussion involving the nature of beauty pageants.  The art by Seth Damoose is okay.  There’s a lot of heaviness going on around the eyes, which causes everyone to look squinty-eyed for most of the issue.  I understand that is his style, and it works in this universe.  It kind of reminds of me of early Tim Sale, which actually isn’t a bad thing.

Overall, this is an okay issue.  The major beats are hit at the right time, and it doesn’t feel like there are any moments where the issue drags.  There are a few instances where the story seems to jump uncontrollably, like someone decided to axe a page or two for space reasons, but other than that, it’s nothing spectacular.  I don’t hate Gallant Girl, as I am interested to see where this story is going, and will be checking out the next two issues at least.  Still, I was hoping for something more as this issue left me kind of wanting, which means I can only give I Hate Gallant Girl 2.5 out of 5 Stars.



The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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