After catching up on issues two through six I did and didn’t want to review this issue. I didn’t because I really, really want to talk about the other five issues and I will, but for now I didn’t want to miss out on talking about this issue since it’s out this week (that was the did part). And what an issue it is. I like that the story about the orphans wasn’t just dropped as the narrative went on. It just continues to rear its ugly head and that has a real world feel to it. This issue starts off with the Butterfly gang on a heist at a museum, but it’s not clear what they’re after until they nab the particular item. Then the issue gets really, really good and I can’t talk about it anymore because some things shouldn’t be spoiled.
What I said about this series in my review for the first issue still stands, there’s an incredible balance of humor and just darkness of the soul in this series. It’s has so much of the real world sprinkled in that it stands out from any other superhero title.
Creator Kristen Gudsnuk produces some of the finest dialogue in all of comics. I wish she could teach other comic writers that are trying to basically do the same type of dialogue and failing miserably at it over and over each month at the big three (yup coining that). Gudsnuk’s dialogue is funny, natural and manages to tell the story without exposition. It also builds the characters while doing all of that.
If there’s an issue in which Mary doesn’t make me laugh, I’m sure I can think of at least two other characters that did. This issue everyone takes a turn at making a joke. Even in a certain unexplainable without spoilers situation, Mary is still quite funny and never stops being herself.
If you’ve been following the single issues, then you probably noticed a slight shift in the art. Gudsnuk actually told me that she re-drew the first four issues. I imagine to make them more in line with the rest of her art because as most webseries (which is what Henchgirl began as), the art develops and gets better and better. With this issue, the only real difference is the coloring. The coloring isn’t as rich as the first four issues, but it’s by no means bad. It’s just different from those issues. Frankly it’s still really good in terms of art and coloring.
I think I said in my first review that I really enjoy Gudsnuk’s art. I mean that. I would love to have a poster or an original piece from one of the issues. In particular, issue two. Issue six has too many great scenes, but in particular I really like Mary’s facial expressions towards the latter half of the issue. I think Gudsnuk excels at realistic facial expressions and body expressions. I don’t even know if that’s a thing. You’d probably correct me and say body language, but I think it’s more than that. The characters realistically express themselves with the way they hang and droop on things. Yeah that’s probably just body language… fix that linguists! We need both!
I really can’t wait to see what happens next in this story. Gudsnuk has chosen a path that’s very risky and yet very fitting for the series. It’s bold in a way that no other superhero titles are and so I’m chomping at the bit to get more. Lately I’ve been reading a lot of indie superhero books and a lot of them have been bad. They’ve reminded me why I try not to read the genre outside of submissions sent to the site. With Henchgirl, I’m reminded why this genre can be so much damn fun to read. I wish there were more series like Henchgirl and if you’re not reading it then please don’t preach how good this or that is from this or that company because you have no idea how good it can be. Henchgirl is the best book you’re not reading and it has everything you want from the genre you are reading.
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Henchgirl #6 Creator: Kristen Gudsnuk Publisher: Scout Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 4/6/16 Format: Ongoing; Print