‘Henchgirl:’ Trade Paperback Review

I’ve always been fascinated by the henchpeople employed by supervillains in superhero stories. They’re usually just background, incidental to the action: an obstacle for the hero to overcome before moving on to bigger game. But what drives someone to go into that line of work? What are their lives like outside of their jobs? Does it pay well? Henchgirl attempts to answer some of these questions and weaves a thoroughly entertaining story in the process.

Mary is part of a small gang of henchpeople working for the notorious supervillain Monsieur Butterfly. It’s a lot of long nights and shady circumstances, but the money is good, since they spend a lot of their time robbing banks. It wreaks havoc on Mary’s social life, though, and her roommates really wish she would find a job that didn’t involve breaking the law.

Deep down, Mary agrees with them, too. She dreams of one day having a normal life, where she’ll do ordinary things like… paying taxes. She’s also not really an evil person. Robbing banks and stealing from rich socialites is one thing, but when the team takes a gig that involves destroying an orphanage, she can’t sit idly by. She gives a heads up to a low-rent superhero named Mannequin and inadvertently gets them both into hot water, along with some other members of her gang.

The main fun of this comic is the world that’s built up by author/creator Kristen Gudsnuk. It takes place in Crepe City, and just about every issue we get to see a little more of what kind of place this is and what kind of people live there.

There are wealthy socialites, established superhero families, local businesses, and more, each with their own backstory and personality. We get to follow Mary and the Butterfly gang on a number of capers of various types, from heists to back alley arms deals, and more. In the process, we’re introduced to a cross-section of both the heroes and villains of Crepe City. We even get to see how the city deals with a full-on alien invasion!

This is a fun comic with a great sense of humor that takes a lot of the traditional superhero and supervillain tropes that we often take for granted and explores them in really cool ways. I highly recommend checking out Henchgirl.

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