Saturday, March 13, 2010

Girl Comics #1

Apparently inspired by their indie anthology Strange Tales (which was of course "inspired" by DC's Bizarro), Marvel decided to spotlight the "Women of Marvel" as pointed out on the cover. There have been some complaints about the title Girl Comics but that's mostly from people who don't really understand feminism - the contents are a bigger issue.

The cheesy opening ("We don't do it for the sake of power or glory though we are powerful and glorious") is as bland as most introductions are but at least indicates the point of the series. A point that's completely contradicted by the very first story where a woman in trouble is rescued by Nightcrawler. True she does help by bonking the baddie on the head with a high-heeled shoe but it's hard to imagine how having a weak damsel saved by a strong man gets across any kind of positive message (and since it's not a story, barely even an anecdote, the message would be the only point).

Another story has a guy online setting up to meet a girl at a park, only the "girl" is the Punisher. Then it's revealed that the guy is preparing to abduct the girl. He arrives at the park and is promptly murdered by the Punisher. Again not even really a story and you have to wonder why the creators thought this was a good idea (though a likely guess is that they've heard too many scare stories from TV and magazines - the rate of such crimes is much lower than most people have been led to believe). The guy as far as we know hasn't even committed a crime. A similar story in Deadpool #900 at least gave the background and oddly enough had more a feeling of reality. Here the Punisher comes across just as creepy as the would-be abductor.

The rest of the issue is at least decent. The highlight is Robin Furth & Agnes Garbowska's evocation of classic children's lit using Franklin and Valeria Richards. A few years back Devin Grayson was one of the best writers in comics but she faded out - she has an ok but not any better X-Men story here. Jill Thompson's Venus looks great but feels just a tad too clunky.

While I want to support anything different that the Big Two try, at this point I don't know whether the next issue will be worth picking up.