Writer: Andy Hartnell
Artists: Nick Bradshaw (p), Jim Charalampidis (i & colors)
Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm
Danger Girl meets Charlie’s Angels and James Bond. More than anything else that is the easiest way of describing this first issue of the latest DG mini. Given that it already draws its inspiration from the above mentioned duo (after all, which modern hawt-spy-flick doesn’t?) shouldn’t come as a surprise and it is not that which set me back. It was the near lift from the Charlie’s Angels movie and the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) undercurrents that reminded me a of a Bond movie that didn’t quite work for me. If I want to see a Bond movie, I’ll go see a Bond movie and before anyone asks, No, the latest one (i.e. Casino Royale) is not a Bond movie but an emo-mockery, (at least in my view).
Anyways, this issue starts in a Danger Girl-enough fashion with Abbey Chase about to get tossed headlong into a rather difficult situation (or in this case jump in willingly). Opening with a nod to her pre-DG days, the story soon takes a turn for the Charlie when Abbey makes her escape complete with a prisoner hanging off her shapely waist and behind. Landing mid-water in a boat that Sydney has ready for her, the duo soon find themselves being shot at, only it isn’t they who are the targets but rather their newly captured prisoner and more importantly the thing he was carrying with him. What is even more intriguing (and probably the only part of the issue that is so) is the identity of the sniper who shot the unfortunate Mr. Naoki, a buxom blonde whose face we get to see only on the last page. Speaking of "buxom," which female character isn’t so in these DG stories? Well, maybe other than the mid-sized Valerie, but in Body Shots the dimensions are really taken to another level, but more on the art later.
With the initial excitement done and over with the next thing on the agenda is a laid-back semi-introspective scene between Abbey and Sydney but even that (thankfully) doesn’t last long before the girls are up and back in action, or maybe I should say they are up to witness Valerie, the resident DC tech whiz, in action. Thanks to Valerie’s efforts the reality of the situation is revealed, and soon enough, we get to see its physical manifestation thanks to a "practice run" which has the bad guys destroying a nuclear submarine by taking over its defense systems even with its crew in it.
Towards the end there is another James Bond nod with a British Secret Service agent tracking down the villains and taking over the vaunted "Master Key" only to be shot dead by a sniper’s bullet. The sniper in question is the buxom blonde from a few pages back. The issue ends with the head-baddie giving Abbey’s to Ms. Blonde Sniper.
A short while back, Wildstorm tried their hands at the swords & sorcery fantasy genre, just as they did later on with horror movie adaptations. Both times they started with three ongoing titles and both times (as has been declared with the three horror titles), they wrapped up shop even before the individual series got to double digits. One of the three fantasy titles was Rokkin. Now why bring up a title that is done and gone and whose story has no relation with this mini? Both Rokkin and Danger Girl: Body Shots have the same creative team, both in the writing department and in the art. The art team which did wonders in bringing to life the fantastical land and creatures in Rokkin bring their excellence to the modern world of Danger Girl and its hot…uh, danger girls. There is no effort in disguising the cheesecake of the visual presentation and given the light, campy yet fast paced styling of the Danger Girl stories, it is rather appropriate. Back to my Charlie’s Angels reference and for a comparison, Danger Girl is more like the Charlie’s Angels movies (well, at least the first one and not its horrible sequel) than like the TV show.
Conclusion: Although it sports some snappy dialogues and fast action scenes, and of course the lively artwork as a whole, Danger Girl: Body Shots #1 comes across more as a disjointed and mismatched puzzle than as a fine finished piece of art.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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