As I continue to catch up on Henchgirl reviews, I also continue to fall madly in love with this series. Kristen Gudsnuk is by far one of the best writers and illustrators in comics. I rue the day that she’ll be snatched up some corporate comic entity and stops producing amazing independent stories like Henchgirl. I also hope in that by saying that I will have encouraged you all to buy an issue or five of each issue of Henchgirl to prevent that from happening. We all have to do our part so do yours! As for this issue. If you haven’t read the second issue yet, then don’t read this issue because the entire plot is centered around the ending of the previous issue. Turn back now… and go buy both issues.
Now that you’ve been warned, we open at Mary’s apartment as she’s nervously watching the news. Suddenly the orphanage story breaks and she gets a text about Fred being the one to leak it and a reward being on his head. Mary contacts Fred and tells him he has to come over quick and hide. Where he continues to be for the rest of the issue.
The household then exposes their powers to each other when Fred’s power is called into question. I will not spoil any of this for you, but it proves just how damn funny this series is and exposes Gudsnuk’s talent for comedic writing. Even re-reading it makes me chuckle. After that, the issue exposes her talent for dramatic writing and dramedy as an alien invasion hits the city. It’s again, nothing I want to spoil for you, but as good as the opening was it only got better when it got to this part.
The problem with this comic is that I just want to spoil the hell out of it for you. I want to break down each page and explain it in such a way that you’ll unquestionable see how good it is, that it’s just way beyond being a “funny” comic and is the truest slice of life comic that is out there. That’s the problem, I want to tell you everything when really you should read it for yourself. I just can’t bring myself to do that and so here we are… me wanting to tell you more and you, probably needing more.
The art is brilliant. Gudsnuk continues to change her style when something dramatic happens and it elevates the art instantly when she does that. It also makes the moments stand out that much more and that shows how much thought she’s putting into this. She wants it to be clear visually that you’re supposed to take this or that panel differently than the ones that preceded it. I continue to really, really enjoy Gudsnuk’s coloring and would love to see her process. There’s too many good things to say about the art and I think I would just end up rambling so let's move on (listen to this week's CBMFP to hear more!).
This issue is just as good as the second issue, but in different ways. They complement each other and issue three only makes issue two better and vice versa. That kind of storytelling is extremely rare in comics and really the only example that comes to mind is Mind MGMT in which each issue supported and bettered the next. That’s what’s happening with Henchgirl. It continues to be better each issue. You can see Gudsnuk improving with each panel of each page to the point that I have no idea how much better it can really get, but I’ll be there to find out.
I give superhero comics a hard time in general. Frankly, I’ve outgrown the corporate ones because their stories are wash and repeat. If they were more like Henchgirl then I would be reading the hell out of them. They’re not and so I’ll just continue to read the hell out of one of the best comics on the market, Henchgirl.
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Henchgirl #3 Creator: Kristen Gudsnuk Publisher: Scout Comics Price: $3.99 Format: Ongoing; Print