A young woman lies in a hospital room in a coma. Ruby Kaye is a superhero who gained her powers through duplicitous means. What’s more her friends are suspect. It’s unsure of how she ended up in a coma or if we should trust any of them with their mean girls’ attitude towards an acquaintance. But this first comic-book issue is called ‘Geek Girl’ and it is Summer James’ struggle that is being explored here.
As sidekick to the superhero Pitbull, Geek Girl is a teenager who is unsure of herself when it comes to her powers. She considers herself someone who’s filling in, a temporary hero. And her damaging property as well as being taken in by a subpar villain isn’t doing anything to improve her self-confidence. Writer Sam Johnson and artist Carlos Granda have created a world where there aren’t mutants or meta-humans. Rather heroes and criminals alike gain abilities through artificial methods. Not only do they look like people you meet on the street, but they act like it. It’s an interesting story that takes the question of what does it mean to be a superhero seriously. Meanwhile, there’s a serious threat to the small town of Maine. You know these bad guys are no joke from the heavily colored in voice bubbles. The base in their voices, their advanced technology are tip-offs that Geek Girl and Pitbull are way out of their league. Moreover they nearly double in size by the end of the comic.
Remember ‘The Greatest American Hero’? The premise of the 1980s television series was that aliens give teacher Ralph Hinkley a suit to fight crime. The kicker is that, of course Ralph loses the instructions. So as a divorced single father, he must now balance his hero work while meeting his responsibilities as a high school teacher and father. Early episodes dealt with him learning how to fly and throughout the series, he goes from falling on his face to being relatively able to soar. However, Ralph was an adult whose main concern was no one finding out his gallivanting about in a red onesie and cape. For Geek Girl, she’s still a teenager whose friends are not supportive in her endeavors. They may feel resentful that she instead of one of them are taking Ruby’s place.
This comic book is something special since no one is safe. Geek Girl may not make it through issue two. Someone else may have to step up. And what about Pitbull? He’s not exactly mentor material, yet he seems to be the senior hero in this narrative. Then there’s the Legion. Why are they amassing so many followers? Whatever the endgame Johnson and Granda have left readers with a need to find out more.