The latest “Danger Girl” mini-series is three separate tales of Abbey, Sydney and Sonja destined to eventually intersect. The three stories, all written by Andy Hartnell have three different artists: John Royle, Harvey Tolibao and Stephen Molnar.
The first story by Hartnell and Royle is heavily inspired by Indiana Jones and unfortunately doesn’t have half the charm. Royle’s art suffers by being too like Campbell’s and thus feels like a knock off of Campbell’s style instead of something that has its own look. These eight pages are jam-packed with action, but there’s never room to breathe — even in the gutters. The action literally runs together and the panels are all ill-chosen random odd shapes reminiscent of some of the worst ’90s storytelling devices.
Tolibao’s offering — the longest, at nine pages — unfortunately has the worst storytelling of the bunch. Though he takes a more traditional approach to his layouts (with the exception of a chaotic double page spread) the panel-to-panel storytelling is frequently confusing and has to be reread to understand exactly what’s happening, especially in the action scene. It’s also visually both the most inconsistent and gratuitous of the three stories. That said, Hartnell’s writing is a bit more fun in places here, and so far as I can tell the plot isn’t lifted from a major motion picture, which is a bonus.
Molnar’s story looks the best of the three and has the best chemistry in both the writing and the art — between Sonya and her captive-turned-cohort, Dallas. Molnar’s style is arguably the loveliest, but it’s also the best from a storytelling perspective, and is by far the most advanced when it comes to character work and expressions. It’s only in retrospect that I realized it was also by far the shortest at only five pages, which makes it all the more impressive. It does still borrow rather heavily from “Romancing The Stone” and with at least two of the three stories borrowing from films, I confess to feeling a lack of creativity overall.
There’s an obvious and overt sexuality to the “Danger Girl” series that surely the regular readers appreciate and maybe even read specifically for, but the sameness of the sexuality in all three of the leads was desperately boring. I couldn’t help thinking as I read that I would have found each of the leads far more interesting if they had exhibited some variety both in personality and in the type of sexuality they conveyed. Instead it’s all the same with slightly different hair.
For longtime “Danger Girl” readers, I’m sure this is a fun and sexy beginning to a new mini-series, but for a reader unfamiliar with the characters and uninterested in gratuitous cheesecake there’s little to grab onto and no real reason to return for a second issue.