Troy Little’s “The Powerpuff Girls” #1 brings back our three heroines in style, easily defeating their nemesis Mojo Jojo in short order, leaving them plenty of time to rescue the golf course from a “swamp thing” and find a famous lost golfer. Meanwhile, Mojo Jojo’s latest stint in prison has him questioning his future.
Little packs in a lot of story, beginning the issue with the girls battling their longtime nemesis Mojo Jojo and dispatching him in less than four pages. With Mojo Jojo sent back to prison the girls celebrate with ice cream and hope to be rewarded with statues. They instead get golf clubs and lifetime memberships to the country club, where a “swamp thing” monster of sorts is suddenly taking over. The girls also dispatch him in short order and celebrate again. Mojo Jojo observes this from his cell, and in the cliffhanger reveal asks The Professor to give him “Antidote X.”
The story is cute, and there are a few chuckles to be had, but it’s not as clever or funny as I would have hoped, and most unfortunately the hilarious charm of Mojo Jojo is all but lost on the page, despite Little’s best efforts. Little tries to get Mojo Jojo’s cadence and repetitive speech down in his long soliloquy, but he doesn’t quite manage it. Without the fine voice acting of Roger L. Jackson, the Mojo sections (which are numerous) fall flat.
The visuals are delightfully on model, each page popping with bright color and solid superhero action. The girls’ designs (as well as the entirety of Townsville) lend themselves nicely to comics with simple forms and bold lines and Little makes the most of those advantages. Especially in their first battle with Mojo Jojo, Little really plays up the girls’ speed and love of fighting/being heroes. The storytelling is effortless and easy to follow throughout. However, though lovely and competent, there aren’t any scenes worthy of too much excitement. The one really powerful moment — when the girls dispatch a “swamp thing” — is actually a bit on the violent side for the book with the girls attacking the creature with golf clubs (though it does work out to a less violent than anticipated).
On the whole, younger readers will enjoy this bright fun issue, but there’s not much here to revel in as an older reader. Only the absolute best of all-ages properties can truly manage to satisfy readers of all-ages, so perhaps it’s too bold to expect from every book.