by AE Stueve
Geek Girl #3 and #4 by Sam Johnson and Carlos Granda is a simple, fun comic book that harkens back to a simpler time. Sure, that time never actually existed anywhere but in superhero comic books and the hearts and minds of your nearest and dearest conservative friends, but you know what I mean. The villains are cartoonishly evil and the heroes are driven by an altruistic goodness that makes them heroes.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not a negative critique. I enjoy the simple storytelling and the basic good versus evil motif presented in Geek Girl. Also, it’s clear that Johnson is not content to simply lean on older concepts to tell the story. There are hints of more to come. There are villains who are far more than they seem. Most intriguing is Mr. Mash-Up, who is a murderer readers might be able to develop empathy in future issues. With hints of a more complex backstory, Mr. Mash-Up is one of the more interesting villains I’ve seen in what could be argued is a pretty standard superhero story. Geek Girl herself is also more interesting than she should be. In a way, she feels like a satirical, tongue-in-cheek representation of some modern day female stereotype of the nerdy girl with glasses. Unlike what you might have seen in many a high school romance, when this girl puts on her glasses, she gets powers. Her struggles with those powers, her naivete as far as those powers are concerned, and her friends’ and enemies’ reactions to those powers add strange layers to this story.
Granda’s art is also powerful. Having grown up reading 90s Marvel Comics, I can see a definite influence there. His work is sharp and angular and shows immense potential. Though I have to admit, the feminist in me doesn’t find the gratuitous skin shots necessary, they are drawn well and, again, this art reminds me of the 90s, of growing up with superhero comics on my mind and in my life.
In short, Geek Girl is something fun and oddly nostalgic. In a way, the comic reminds me of what it was like to read superhero comic books before they grew up and before I grew up.
Geek-Girl #3 & #4 are Out Now and available in Regular, Digital and Variant editions at www.geekgirlcomics.com – along with new Variants of Geek-Girl #1-#3 for newcomers to her mini-series.