Friday, December 13, 2019

Review: GEEK-GIRL, VOL. 2 #5

MARKOSIA ENTERPRISES, LTD. – @Markosia @daSamJohnson

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

STORY: Sam Johnson with Mark Darden
ART: Carlos Granda
COLORS: Chunlin Zhao
LETTERS: Paul McLaren
COVER ARTISTS: Sun Khamunaki; Carlos Granda with Chunlin Zhao; Lady Larkin
28pp, Color, $4.99 U.S. (October 23, 2019) – print and digital edition

Rated T+ / 12+ only

Geek-Girl created by Sam Johnson

“School's Out”

Geek-Girl is a comic book character created by Sam Johnson (The Almighties).  Geek-Girl debuted in a 2016 miniseries and returned in a second miniseries, Geek-Girl Vol. 2, which became an ongoing series.  Geek-Girl Vol. 2 is written by Sam Johnson; drawn by Carlos Granda; colored by Chunlin Zhao; and lettered by Paul McLaren.

Geek-Girl focuses on Ruby Kaye, a sexy and popular college coed who inadvertently becomes a superhero.  Ruby dons a pair of super-tech eye glasses that gives her super-powers.  Ruby's BFF, Summer James, then talks her into trying to be a superhero, even providing her with a moniker.  Now, Ruby is Maine's newest superhero, “Geek-Girl.”

Geek-Girl Vol. 2 #5 (“School's Out”) opens in Acorn Ridge, Maine in the aftermath of the attack by the hyper-destructive super-villainess, Lightning Storm.  Now, former super-tech weapons dealer, Johnny Carlyle, who has apparently turned philanthropist, is making Ruby a surprising offer.  Before a public gathering at the reopening of a police station destroyed by Lightning Storm,  Carlyle announces the formation of the Kaye Foundation, which he has named after Ruby.  The re-opening of the Acorn Ridge Main Street Police Station is only the Kaye Foundation's first move.

Its next move is to form a brand new superhero team, this one headed by Geek-Girl!  Shocked as she is, Ruby has to get down to business and start gathering team members like “The Minger,” “The Whupper,” “Guano Guy,” and “Mr. Marvelous Man.”  Meanwhile, there is a lot going on for everyone – personally, professionally, and supernaturally...

Creator-writer Sam Johnson sent me a PDF review copy of Geek-Girl, Vol. 2 #5, as he has sent me PDF review copies of his other comic books over the past few years.  He thought that this latest issue of Geek-Girl would be of interest to readers because (1) it is a longer than usual issue and (2) it can be a “jumping-on point” for new readers.

Actually, just about any issue of Geek-Girl is a good jumping on point because Johnson provides a detailed summary of the previous issue and of the series in general inside the front cover of each issue of Geek-Girl.  Hell, I will credit Johnson as at least a good comic book scribe simply on the basis of his skills at summarizing his narrative.  [Marvel Comics titles include a summary of the previous issue and the story arc in general; DC Comics (stupidly) does not, likely just because Marvel does.]

I saw a lot of potential in the first Geek-Girl miniseries, and, although I only read the first issue of the second miniseries, I did see the potential being reached.  Now, I want to go back and read issues #2 to 4, but, I don't really need to do so.  The summary works; issue #5 is indeed a good jumping on point, and it is a good read.

I like Sam Johnson's quirky stories, and what I like most about the Geek-Girl series overall is its sense of humor and positive attitude.  Ruby and her friend, Summer James (who took on the Geek-Girl role for a bit), are “always game.”  Geek-Girl is never grim and gritty even when the villainous situation is actually kinda grim and gritty.  Issue #5 teases interesting characters and plants some seeds of darkness, not to mention that Johnny Carlyle seems kinda shady.

Artist Carlos Granda's clear-line drawing style is still a little shaky on the line, but his compositions reveal his ability to draw just about any kind of edifice, object, item, vehicle, etc. found in the real world.  Granda's graphical storytelling is also as vibrant and as vivacious as this series' lead character.

Chunlin Zhao's rich colors make Granda's illustrations look pretty and pop off the page.  Paul McLaren's clean lettering is the graphical element that grounds the narrative in a balance of humor and a sense of mystery.

Readers looking for female superheroes will find a winner in this Geek-Girl comic book.  Both the character and the comic book are ready for readers looking from something fresh.  You know, those are the readers who don't go to the overgrown, vacant lot of traditional superhero comics... where you can smell decaying small animals... for their superhero fun.

8 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can buy Geek Girl Vol. 2 #5 at comiXology.

The text is copyright © 2019 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.


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