Mystery Girl Issue 4 Review: Sign Us Up For More

Trine is who you want to be when you grow up. You get the sense that before she got her abilities she was still the coolest chick around. She doesn’t need a cape and like the old school Blaxploitation movies like Shaft she should have her own theme song. Better still, Paul Tobin’s heroine has friends who are just as unflappable as she is.

Issue 4 of “Mystery Girl” opens with a bang of sorts. When last the reader has seen Trine she was left to die in Siberia among the Wooly Mammoths. The problem with that is her enemies should have killed her. Freezing to death is a way of getting rid of any evidence and leaves no trace. It’s efficient, yet the bad guys took the Skeletor way out and will no doubt regret it later. What’s great about this comic is that the title holds so many layers. Yes, Trine is a mystery in how she got her abilities. But the real mystery is how she’s able to use them. It isn’t enough to have talent, you have to have the imagination to help it keep you and those you care for alive. That’s how Tobin pulls you in. The narrative is as calm and proficient as Trine. Even her mistakes are on purpose.

Reading this particular episode in the lives of these characters makes them come alive and nearly leap off the page. As capable as these people are the artwork emphasizes that from Trine’s boyfriend’s movements to Trine’s bird. Alberto J. Alburquerque doesn’t waste a stroke. What’s more old people look old, but not decrepit. These well drawn figures will remind you of people you see on the street. The only unreal thing about them is that no one is face-planted in their cellphones. Which makes the blend of art and action realistic yet simultaneously fantastic. You’ll laugh, hold your breath, and have a can I get an amen experience, in other words it’s deeply satisfying.

Although this particular storyline may have ended, these characters cannot go away. Trine and the relationship with her boyfriend needs to be explored. Her friends, those colorful cast of characters seem to have rich back stories of their own to examine, not to mention the person Trine bumps into can’t be left to languish in the reader’s imagination. There has to be another issue. Or else what’s the point? You can’t retire a superfly sister and then just end it. This series needs to stick around.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 595 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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