Comic book review for Marvel’s anthology, Girl Comics #1.
I really loved this comic. I loved being the audience. I loved that it showcased women writers, artists, and editors. Yes, not every story knocked me out the park with awesome. A few did though. I appreciate the spirit and the ability to discover writers and artists I might not have otherwise read stories by. Also I loved the cover of She-Hulk beating Iron Man in arm-wrestling by Amanda Conner and Laura Martin. And the biographical features on Flo Steinberg and Marie Severin nicely add historical context to women who’ve made a big impact on Marvel’s history. One part I didn’t like so much was Sana Takeda’s pin-up of She-Hulk. Her art style doesn’t seem to flow into drawing She-Hulk.
Onto the stories:
“Introduction” by Colleen Coover
The opening worked brilliantly. I love Coover’s art style. I love that the women characters span the teams and different eras.
“Moritat” by G. Willow Wilson and Ming Doyle
This was perhaps the story I was least impressed with. In many ways, it felt rushed. Like it was a last minute add to the collection.
The old-fashioned night club setting in the story worked really well with the character of Nightcrawler and also Doyle’s art. While Doyle’s art style is not my favorite, I do think here it worked.
As for Wilson’s writing, besides feeling sparse, Nightcrawler’s rescue seemed oddly lacking in emotional pay-off. I found I didn’t care. I liked the idea of the song, but the lyrics didn’t grab me.
Venus’s story by Trina Robbins and Stephanie Buscema
This story was by far the most girly of all the stories in this issue. And I liked that. One of my main complaints about both Marvel and DC is the lack of variety in moods and tones of their current ongoing series. This story has a voice and an audience that needs to be heard. I love the lightheartedness of this story.
Here Venus saves the day doing what she does best, using the powers as the Goddess of Love. She may no longer be in the 1950s, but with just a little adjustment, Venus earns her fashion editor status.
Yeah, Ares posing as editor, completely obvious. But I didn’t find it detracting from the story.
My only nitpick is Venus wouldn’t be hanging out in Olympus if this is supposed to be the same Venus from the 1950s comics and today’s Atlas comics considering she wasn’t the real Aphrodite. (In current Marvel, the pantheon goes by their Greek names, not Roman ones.)
“A Brief Rendezvous” by Valerie D’Orazio and Nikki Cook
I liked the hardcore nature of this Punisher story. Definitely him. However, I feel like going from the Venus story to this one is saying, hey, we ladies write some intense stories Joe Quesada loves.
My biggest qualm about this story is when the Punisher appears on the other end of the pedophile’s im, we all what’s going to happen. The pedophile’s dead. Because that’s what the Punisher does. This catch-a-predator story isn’t going to end any other way.
“Shop Doc” by Lucy Knisley
I love this comical rendition of Doc Ock going grocery shopping. Oh, grocery shopping, the great equalizer. Knisley’s art is just adorable, and I love how her writing takes all of Doc Ock’s otherwise horrible mental issues and makes them comically exaggerated in his shopping trip.
There’s the Spider-Man fruit snacks which make him cranky. Nemesis and all. And then there’s the cute girl with the octopus tattoo. I love how the scene shows how lonely even villains get. Doc Ock’s freakout over being fed the calamari curry was awesome.
The happy image at the end of Doc Ock back at his house was perfect.
“Clockworld Nightmare” by Robin Furth and Agnes Garbowska
This is probably my favorite story out of the anthology. I’m not a big fan of Franklin and Valeria Richards or overtly children’s stories. However, this story brings the two characters to life in way I haven’t read them as before. Here they aren’t dumbed down as children often are in stories. Both Franklin and Val are geniuses, and Val, in particular, shines here. I loved the little notes concerning her vocabulary, and how Franklin didn’t know what she said all the time.
Garbowska’s art was amazing. I loved how it changed when they went into the clock-world. Some wonderful illustration not normally seen in mainstream comics. Amazingly beautiful art. A true fable.
I enjoyed seeing Reed and the Thing rescue the kids because that’s what your family’s supposed to do. They’re supposed to be there when you need them. Especially when you’re a kid.
“Head Space” by Devin Grayson and Emma Rios
My favorite part about this story was Rios’ art. Another review I read said she drew really good hair, and I’d definitely have to agree on that. She also does a great job with people’s face and backgrounds. I once heard a talk about breaking into comics, and how it was easy to review art portfolios by looking to see if the artist took the time to create real backgrounds.
As far as the story, it felt a little jarring to be reading about Jean and Scott’s relationship given how long they’ve been broken up and Jean’s been dead. But perhaps more jarring in the focus of a Jean-Scott-Logan love triangle considering Scott left Jean for Emma. Of course, on the other hand, yay Jean!
I do think the writing was well-done. I loved the reveal of Jean and Scott being in Scott’s head and how Wolverine bothers him perhaps even more than Jean’s ever been attracted to Wolverine. And I love the moment where Jean tells Scott his mind is beautiful. It was soft and harsh all at the same time.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what talent issue #2 brings.