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Graphic Novels Reviews

Absolute Danger Girl

Writer: Andy Hartnell
Artist: J Scott Campbell, Alex Garner
Publisher: DC/Wildstorm
[Three stars]

Oct 09, 2008

Danger Girl is a shameless comic, and I mean that in a good way. The lead character, Abby Chase is a clear stand-in for Lara Croft, and the Danger Girl organization that recruits her (with members named Sydney Savage, Silicon Valerie and Natalia Kassle) brings to mind seventies’ franchises like U.N.C.L.E, Charlie’s Angels and the Bond movies. This comic is an unabashed tribute to all of these, with the lead characters being highly-empowered, ass-kicking women, a send-off of the traditional Bond heroines who exist merely as objects of occasional desire. The storyline involves Nazi terrorists out to capture a couple of ancient relics, which will give them unlimited mystical power and unleash the Fourth Reich upon the world, and it’s up to the girls to stop the evildoers, aided by the debonair Johnny Barracuda. Barracuda, ironically, is the self-obsessed airhead in the series, the perfect parody of the smug, all-conquering Bondish heroes of the seventies.

But forget the clichéd plot ”“ it’s the presentation that’s king in Danger Girl. J Scott Campbell likes to draw his women, and he loves drawing action sequences. (yes, he does both beautifully!) You will find both aplenty in this comic, and to writer Andy Hartnell’s credit, the cheesecake, the explosions, the car chases and the inherent goofiness of the enterprise just falls short of appearing overly-gratuitous because of the snappiness of his script. There is a sense of comic timing that balances out the occasional incongruities in the script and the art, and you will find that the only thing missing is a funky soundtrack to supplement the maniacal pace at which the comic proceeds. This one’s a fun, exhilarating read!

The only problem is that the Absolute version, a slip-cased hardcover that collects all seven issues of the series, along with a lot of goodies like  character designs and sketchbook, is out-of-print. Thankfully, the original paperback collections are still available, and at a much cheaper price.

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