‘Geek-Girl #1:’ Comic Book Review

College-age Ruby wasn’t looking to become a superhero the night she made out with her friend at a bar to lure a pair of young men to play a game of high-stakes strip poker; she just really wanted to try the “super glasses” one of the gentleman possessed; however, when she somehow wins the entire game and makes a fool of herself with her super strength, possibly losing most of her friends, Ruby’s best friend, Summer, encourages her to make the best of the new scenario and try to help others out. When she rescues Neon Girl from a lightning wielding supe and gets her to the hospital, Ruby receives the personal motivation she needs to claim her new identity: find the lightning lady and take her down, if it’s the last thing she does. She just has to find her before anyone else!

Creator Sam Johnson is no stranger to playing with female superhero tropes, so Geek-Girl #1 feels like comfortable territory for him.  As with Ms. F in The Almighties, Ruby physically matches most comic book heroines, but she struggles with her identity and sense of self in a way that is sometimes left out of those stories.  Additionally, Ruby’s outfit is treated as a uniform by the other superheroes, so it seems to be par for the course.

Carlos Granda’s artwork for Geek-Girl is eye catching and helps propel the story forward.  While I didn’t identify his college girl designs (I spent most of college in T-shirts and jeans and attended school with girls who would show up to class in pajamas.), I respect the choice to focus on hip, fashionable girls who might turn on one another over perceived oddity.  I also appreciated the choice to make Summer non-white, and while Ruby is probably just intended to be a brunette, she could also be interpreted as non-white with her brown hair and olive skin tone.

So far, Geek-Girl #1 doesn’t really break any new ground for female superhero stories, but Ruby’s accidental foray into superdom intrigues me.  In many ways, her experience works as a metaphor for college’s function for many young adults, and I hope she finds her path to adulthood through her experiences.  Will Ruby find the lightning lady? Will she manage to avenge Neon Girl? Will Neon Girl’s face ever be the same again?  You have to read the series to see!
Geek-Girl #1 is out now in regular, digital, and variant editions and available at www.geekgirlcomics.com and www.comixology.com.


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