Summary: Marvel is proud to bring you a celebration of amazing women in comics with a brand-new anthology created entirely by the most talented and exciting women working in comics today, including Ann Nocenti (DAREDEVIL), Amanda Conner (Power Girl), Laura Martin (SECRET INVASION), G. Willow Wilson (Air), Devin Grayson (Nightwing), Stephanie Buscema (WEB OF SPIDER-MAN), and more! With stories featuring your favorite Marvel characters, from the Punisher to Mary Jane, don’t miss what will be one of the most talked-about series of the year! Collecting Girl Comics #1-3
Girl Comics, by various writers and artists 6.5
‘Girl Comics’ is a collection of three books released by Marvel Comics in 2010. They focus primarily, but not exclusively, on female characters and was completely put together by some of Marvel’s female complement. Each book consisted of short snippets with Marvel’s superheroines and heroes as well as biographical information on some of Marvel’s most notable female writers and artists.
When this set appeared on my hold shelf at the library, I was immediately intrigued by it (I should note that one of the library clerks recommends books to me all the time and I get them sight unseen) . Its smashing cover helped, of course, but I wondered what it was about. I made a point of getting to it soon thereafter: a book about female characters and from a female perspective? Awesome!
Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the collection.
I really dig the concept, but it’s a mixed bag with decidedly mixed results. I suspect that it may suffer from the same handicaps that most of these types of books do: 1) poor editing and, 2) limited space that is far too restrictive.
1) Editing: I’ve frequently found that such collections are a disparate bunch of misaligned bits. I really like the fact that ‘Girl Comics’ features a variety of styles, both genre-wise and artistically, but I feel as though they don’t play off of each other very well. It feels too mish-mashy for my taste, as though it had little direction aside from the opening statements and the featured bios – everything else was ramshackle.
2) Limited space: Given that each work is usually from 1 to 6 pages long, it doesn’t give writers and artists much time to flesh out the material. This tends to happen in these types of books, but ‘Girl Comics’, in some ways, comes off like an Archie Comic, but without the punchline – or a really bad one (even in comparison to Archie). I found that the stories were mostly a bore and the humour failed miserably most of the time.
The art was generally good, though. Oh, sure there were exceptions but, all in all, given the variety, it was pretty decent. There were no major standouts here, though, aside from the covers and Sana Takeda’s take on She Hulk – which, bondage theme aside, was a gorgeous piece of art. Having said that, aside from Takeda, I don’t feel compelled to check out the other artists’ oeuvre. Oh well.
While tedious for me to read (I’m not interested in that sort of thing), it was nice that they featured at least two legendary women from the Marvel bullpen. What an excellent touch! Hopefully it will be inspirational to some. Marvel also apparently released a set of limited series under the Women of Marvel brand which featured female characters that don’t usually get the spotlight. I would love to see collections of those.
In the end, I adore the idea behind ‘Girl Comics’, but didn’t find most of the shorts that interesting. I’m not sure who the audience was meant to be, but I can’t see much appeal in the material. To me, it’s more of a curiosity when it could have been so much more. There are fitting tributes to the Marvelous women of the past, but it’s not nearly as spectacular a highlight of the present crop. That’s a missed opportunity, if ever there was one.