Itâ€™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! Marvelâ€™s Girl Comics #1 is out, is it worth your money?
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. â€œNo way She-Hulk could beat Iron Man in arm wrestling! Heâ€™s letting her win so he can get a look down her top!â€Â 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.Â I sighed as I picked my copy of Marvelâ€™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 â€œforâ€ girls, but a comic â€œbyâ€ 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 â€œA Brief Rendezvousâ€ by Valerie Dâ€™Orazio and company, as well as the Jean Gray/Scott Summers/Logan tale by Devin Grayson called â€œHead Spaceâ€.
In â€œA Brief Rendezvousâ€ 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 Dâ€™Orazio (upcoming Cloak and Dagger mini) tells a tale that needs little dialogue to be enjoyable. You know what the predatorâ€™s intentions are, and you know Castleâ€™s as well, more words would just get in the way. Nikki Cook (DMZ, Dogâ€™s Day End) lays out a suitably creepy atmosphere with simple panel layouts that work for this piece.
In â€œHead Spaceâ€, 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 Riosâ€™ (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 dadâ€™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. Thereâ€™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.Â Great reading, and educational to!
Marvel has several titles coming up that could be considered â€œgirl-centricâ€, 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 donâ€™t sell well, and yes, the title could be something of a put off for some, but donâ€™t judge a book by its cover, unless it has an awesome cover by Amanda Conner and Laura Martin, as this book does!