It’s always a delight to come across a new comic book and be so completely enamored and refreshed by how truly fun and enjoyable it is. I had this exact reaction to the indie comic, The Gamma Gals #1, which is the first issue of a 4-part mini-series depicting the everyday adventures of three distinct and diverse high school students (who . . . you know . . . also happen to be superheroes when they’re not playing D&D). Created, written, illustrated, colored, and lettered by the obviously multi-talented Stefano Terry, Gamma Gals invites readers to a slice-of-life story that features three extremely positive, complex, and diverse female protagonists that young adult readers would have no trouble identifying with and looking up to.
Terry succeeds on all accounts in creating wonderfully dynamic characters. The three leading ladies – Harriet, Kira, and Sue – are your everyday 15-year-old girls who enjoy hanging out with their friends and roleplaying after school. Unbeknownst to the rest of the classmates (except for their good friend, Charlie), the girls acquired their own distinct superpowers when a gamma-irradiated electrical storm hit their hometown. With the utmost care, consideration, and maturity, the girls now do their part to keep their town and its residents safe from harm.
What’s so unique and refreshing about The Gamma Gals is its depiction of the girls with various races, abilities, personalities, strengths, and flaws. Each depiction felt real and down-to-earth, and all three of the girls displayed unwavering respect and care for one another as friends and as individuals. While there was some cursing by the characters, it was not anything that high school students do not currently hear at school or on cable TV, so I would feel comfortable recommending the series to readers that are of high school age or above. Likewise, Terry’s artwork is crisp, fun, bright, and engaging, and it paints a wonderful picture of the world that these girls inhabit, which can reasonably and easily encapsulate your average gals of the geeky variety as well as superheroes that fly and shoot lightning at their foes.
Readers will also enjoy the character breakdowns at the back of the issue, which detail the characters, their likes, their super abilities, and their backstories, very much in the vein of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
While The Gamma Girls would make a fantastic Young Adult series, I would highly encourage all readers to give this series a chance. It’s an incredible work by an independent creator that is advancing diverse characters in the most fun and positive ways possible. What’s not to love about that?