With great glasses comes great klutziness in a pretty weak zero issue.
ENTER WITH A MEH
On the very first page of Geek-Girl #0 the reader meets Ruby, the title character, floating high above a metropolis on her cellphone speaking to best friend Summer. Geek-Girl’s costume leaves a lot to be desired when considered through the lens of modern feminism as it applies to women in and around comic books. However, Geek-Girl wears glasses so she passes all hipster requirements for the outward representation of geek/nerd culture and this issue is off to an embarrassing crash of a start.
Flash back to the night before and Geek-Girl’s origin. Jeff is a science genius and in a move to impress the woman he likes (who already has a boyfriend), he’s invented a pair of glasses with a computer chip in them that will give the wearer superpowers. Geek-Girl #0 spares no thought for pseudo-science and sticks to its weak premise of metahuman scale ability. Ruby, whom the reader will recognize from the cover, overhears Jeff’s conversation and through the magical power of making-out-with-her-female-friend-in-public-to-distract-the-gullible-male-and-steal-from-them she manages to get her hands on Jeff’s super glasses.
Cut to: later on in Geek-Girl #0 Ruby and Summer hit a trendy club with Ruby dressed to the nines and debuting her super glasses. The scene begins with implications about anal sex that leave most qualities of all characters to be desired. Ruby and Summer meet with an assortment of catty female stereotypes who insult Ruby’s glasses with such inventive phrases as “dork”. An accidental display of super strength has Ruby spilling mixed drinks all over the dresses of her catty friends and, naturally, damaging their friendships beyond all repair. Summer refuses to come to her best friend’s defense (let’s stress that again: best friend), so Ruby leaves. What else is there to do?
Outside a young lady named Mariella (who Jeff had initially designed the much mentioned super glasses for), is being violently confronted by her ex-boyfriend in cliché number five or so of Geek-Girl #0 thus far. As readers would suspect, Ruby stands up for Mariella by punching the ex-boyfriend so hard he loses consciousness and possibly dies it’s not terribly clear. Enter Summer, having come to her sense and realized she ought to have defended her best friend, who is just so impressed with Ruby’s feat of strength she can’t help but gush and the pair very publically decide that Ruby ought to be a superheroine. Summer, conveniently a fashion designer, offers to do the legwork where the costume is concerned.
Geek-Girl #0 closes with Mariella’s ex-boyfriend not dying, but peeling away his skin and with a more villainous face walking off into future issues.
Writer Sam Johnson falls into cliché after trope after stereotype not only in terms of comic book storytelling, but in terms of female behaviour. This makes Geek-Girl #0, as a whole, difficult to read, much less enjoy.
YEAH, IT’S ALRIGHT
The title of this section really sums up the art of Geek-Girl #0 in a nutshell. The issue fools potential readers with a well drawn, nicely coloured cover – in spite of one’s potential feelings about Ruby’s outfit. Sally Stone-Thompson’s charm as an artist does not carry over into the interiors of the issue. Geek-Girl #0 is a black and white issue and could have been charmingly rendered if it were more than just line work, no shadows nor carefully employed negative space to speak of.
Beyond that, Stone-Thompson’s character designs leave a lot to be desired. Most of the women are interchangeable with only things like hairstyles to differentiate between the cast. Even Ruby’s design and face would alter slightly from page to page.
If Geek-Girl #0 this were a sketchbook project, or a practice offering done for a glass than Stone-Thompson’s work would have been serviceable, but as it stands, and when considered against many of her contemporaries, it all just feels unpolished.
YOU CAN SKIP THIS
Geek-Girl #0 doesn’t offer the reader much to stick with beyond a pretty cover and a tongue-in-cheek title. Perhaps the storyline will develop in future issues, but it would have behooved the creative team to have spent a little more time, effort and consideration in crafting their zero issue. Skip it.