J Scott Campbell and Andy Hartnell had the purest of intentions when creating Danger Girl: to create an adventure comic in the vein of James Bond and Indiana Jones, swapping superheroes for an all-female team of elite spies and secret agents. And, at its best, it works. Campbell's artwork is crisp and dynamic, with clear influences from Arthur Adams and Todd McFarlane, and the stories are fast paced, following the newest recruit to the Danger Girls, Abbey Chase, who left behind her life as an adventurer, explorer and freelance troubleshooter for the high-stakes world of international espionage. With her new teammates--Russian knife expert Natalia Kassle, Australian mistress of the bullwhip Sydney Savage and British computer genius Silicon Valerie--Abbey uncovers a world-conquering plot by the evil Hammer organisation. Along the way, the team fight mad scientists and Nazi supermen with the aid of allies such as Deuce, Johnny Barracuda and Agent Zero, before facing treachery and a climactic confrontation on the Hammer's island headquarters.
It's easy to tell that Campbell and Hartnell had fun with Danger Girl--the stories hearken back to the matinee cliffhangers from the golden age of cinema, and this is clearly a labour of love from both creators. And it's always refreshing to read a comic that doesn't feature superheroes. It's just unfortunate that they swapped one comic book cliché for another: all of the female characters look like they were drawn by somebody who's never seen a real woman before (and this in spite of the fact that Campbell is married). They have waists that could comfortably fit through a Polo mint, and breasts that are just ludicrous (one wonders if the Danger Girls have ever seen their own feet). This is a book about strong, confident women, but it was written for teenage boys who learned everything they know about women by playing Tomb Raider. --Ted Kord [via]