Review: Danger Girl: Trinity (TPB)

I loved the original 'Danger Girl', a last hurrah of the fan-servicey 90's comic scene, drawn by one of the era's greatest T&A artists, J. Scott Campbell. It was a giant wink-wink book that combined and hyper-charged the worlds of James Bond, Indiana Jones, and G.I. Joe and put lithe latex-clad ladies in the protagonist chair. However, Campbell only served as artist and co-writer on one miniseries, leaving the duties of future installments to co-creator Andy Hartnell and a rotating gallery of artists. I'd read one of the other miniseries and found it disappointing, robbed of its previous manic campy energy and Campbell's appropriately exaggerated style. Now with the miniseries 'Trinity' I gave the franchise another go to see if it had restored some of its pulpy former glory. The miniseries is told in three intersecting stories, each featuring a different Danger Girl. Abbey Chase finds herself taken prisoner by an Egyptian prince who has big plans for her, Sydney Savage is under attack by assassins who want her dead, and Sydney's sister Sonya is deep in the jungles of the Congo with a bounty in tow. Each story is also illustrated by a different artist, each with a style unique from each other.

DG_Trinity-pr_Page_01From the writing standpoint it's what you'd expect from a Danger Girl book, which is a good thing. Its light, broadly written, and keeps its pace and humor cracking, leaving little space to catch one’s breath. The writing leaves much of the work to the artist to be interesting; there's very little actually at stake as the action is just that, action, and the storytelling is pretty spare, but it's got personality where it counts even if you may stop and wonder how many times a script can have the instructions '...and it explodes in a massive fireball' in it.

The art is uniformly professional, one of the better looking IDW books I've seen, with art from John Royle, Harvey Tolibao, and Stephen Molnar, and excellently colored by Romulo Fajardo, Jr. who demonstrates a remarkable ability to match artists with firm bold colors. Molnar, illustrating Sonya's story is the strongest, with bold lines and charismatic expression, given an almost Adam Hughes vibe by Fajardo's colors. To contrast Tolibao's Silvestri inspired lines on Sydney's story have remarkable mechanical and architectural detail, with tight hairline pencils, but falls flat when it comes to depicting the human characters, deadening humor and action with almost expressionless doll-like faces. John Royle draws the story of Abby, weirdly trying to mimic with near exactitude the art of J. Scott Campbell. It's intentional, presumably with Campbell's blessing, but it's weird to see his style openly aped in the book. It's well done and more suited to the material than Tolibao, but it begs to ask why it was thought to be a good idea since it clearly isn't Campbell's lines and feels almost like a cheaper knockoff of the real thing. Royle seems to be a decent ink-slinger so why not agree with IDW to do something new? However, like I said the art is professional and fun to look at most of the time, refreshing with all the bad books I've read recently.

So how does it stand in Danger Girl's history? Pretty well. The book captures some of the fun of the original; it's big, dumb, and incredibly non-PC with little interest with anything that would stand in the way of the pulp aesthetic. It may not quite be up to challenging the juvenile masterpiece that the original stands as, but as a breezy read you could do much worse.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Andy Hartnell Artists: John Royle, Harvey Tolibao and Stephen Molnar Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $17.99 Release Date: 10/9/12