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It’s an all female creative goldmine as some of the best and brightest women in the comic industry create tales that range from Frank Castle dispensing some well deserved justice to Doc Ock going grocery shopping! Marvel’s Girl Comics #1 is out, is it worth your money?

45_GIRL_COMICS_1.jpgTitle: Girl Comics #1
Writer: Various
Art: Various
Letters: Various
Cover: Amanda Conner and Laura Martin

As I picked this title up in my local comic shop, I was reminded again of why the public at large have a stereo-type of the average comic reader as nerdy, overweight, socially awkward male reminiscent of the Comic-Book Guy from the Simpsons. “No way She-Hulk could beat Iron Man in arm wrestling! He’s letting her win so he can get a look down her top!”  This was spoken by a great patron of the arts as he reached over the shelf to pick up a copy of some book that had around 8 different variants, each featuring the cover girl in less and less clothes.  I sighed as I picked my copy of Marvel’s Girl Comics #1 off the shelf and walked back to the register, secure in the knowledge that the Never-Touch-A-Boobie Club had another lifetime member.

The title Girl Comics, while a catchy name, is somewhat misleading. This is not meant to simply be a comic “for” girls, but a comic “by” women. Some of the most successful women in comics are counted among the creators in this book and, as a matter of fact, all the creators are of the female persuasion. Everyone, the writers, artists, letterers, everyone up to the editor-in-chief, is female. When you realize that, it starts to click that there is something special underneath this possible gimmick.

From an introduction by Colleen Coover (X-Men: First Class, Pet Avengers) you quickly realize that the stories contained within where not chosen because they featured female heroes; they were chosen because they were good. With characters as diverse as Nightcrawler, Venus, Punisher, Doc Ock and more, you would have just thought that this was another well produced anthology title, if it had not been promoted as an all-girl creative jam session. Highlights, in my opinion, include the Punisher tale “A Brief Rendezvous” by Valerie D’Orazio and company, as well as the Jean Gray/Scott Summers/Logan tale by Devin Grayson called “Head Space”.

In “A Brief Rendezvous” an internet predator thinks he is going to meet up with his young victim, only to find that other people know how to lure people in using the Internet. Valerie D’Orazio (upcoming Cloak and Dagger mini) tells a tale that needs little dialogue to be enjoyable. You know what the predator’s intentions are, and you know Castle’s as well, more words would just get in the way. Nikki Cook (DMZ, Dog’s Day End) lays out a suitably creepy atmosphere with simple panel layouts that work for this piece.

In “Head Space”, Devin Grayson (Black Widow, Nightwing) revisits the relationship between Jean Gray, Scott Summers and Logan as perceived through the mental link that Jean and Scott share. Emma Rios’ (Runaways, Strange) high energy art provides a great back drop for the tale, and the tale leaves you wishing for the good old days when that love triangle was active.

Those are my two favorites, but it is just a small sampling of the diversity that inhabits the title. Whether it is a storybook style tale of Franklin and Valeria Richards trespassing in their dad’s lab (by Robin Furth and Agnes Garbowska), the very indy-style Doc Ock tale by Lucy Knisley, or Venus starring in a girl returns to the big city story by the legendary Trina Robbins and Stephanie Buscema, there is a little something for everyone. There’s even a She-Hulk pin-up by Sana Takeda! But, one of the most impressive features here is the bio pieces on Flo Steinberg and Marie Severin.  Great reading, and educational to!

Marvel has several titles coming up that could be considered “girl-centric”, including some by creators featured in this book. I can find nothing to complain, and I felt that the $4.99 I paid was well worth the price of admission. Yes, they say anthologies don’t sell well, and yes, the title could be something of a put off for some, but don’t judge a book by its cover, unless it has an awesome cover by Amanda Conner and Laura Martin, as this book does!

Rating: ★★★★½

The Author

Stacy Baugher

Stacy Baugher

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold.

He can currently be found on his blog, www.stacybaugher.com , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours.

He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

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1 Comment

  1. March 10, 2010 at 8:52 pm — Reply

    This is a good start by Marvel, but putting the female creators together on a title called “Girl Comics” smacks strongly of Jim Crow, to me.

    Let these creators go wild on a regular book, Marvel! And you don’t have to make the thing pink, either… Can you imagine what Devin Grayson would do on a Power Man/Iron Fist book? Or New Warriors (which is a dirty word at Marvel these days)?

    Hell, Amanda Connor on She-Hulk would sell me the book even if it were written by two monkeys and a Sears manager from Akron, Ohio…

    (As an aside, I have a copy of Mysterious Suspense, but it’s nowhere near mint. It might pass for a 7.5, though. Charlton’s paper stock makes mint copies of anything a crap shoot at best.)

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