Geek Girl #5 Review: Ruby’s Rules

You can’t treat being a hero like a part-time job if you plan to live without the need of artificial life support. Ruby Kaye in issue five of ‘Geek Girl’ plans to use her superhero persona to pay the medical bills she acquired while being in a coma, after fighting a villain whose superpower is lightning. Then there are others who seem as if they are only heroes when they get paid. If a disaster occurs when they’re on a coffee break chances are you’re not going to make it.

Sam Johnson has created a world where being a superhero can be a profession like working in a bank. It’s that sense of normalcy where Ruby Kaye believes she no longer needs anonymity to fight crime.

But there’s a reason why you wouldn’t see Bruce Wayne pulling off his cowl or Superman battling enemies in a suit and glasses. And when you start reading the fifth installment of this comic-book you’ll understand why. 

It’s that prologue where a young man stares into a red stained mirror, seemingly rambling on about not deserving a person only to open his door and get a violent surprise where you understand that superheroes are not bank tellers. Still they make plans as if they can be college students like Ruby or have families like Johnny where his wife makes an impossible request of him that you know by issue six he won’t keep. Then there’s artist Carlos Granda along with a team of letterers and colorists who make this a city you can live in and expect to find people flying to their destinations, without the help of a vehicle instead of taking the bus. It makes both the visual and storyline an entertaining read. 

Moments where an airplane is attacked or a team of super-powered people begin to meet up reveals to the reader just how people’s lives are messy whether they have artificial powers, are naturally gifted with abilities or unfortunate bystanders. In the end you are either more or less of yourself. If you’re a hero, then in that moment you’re not thinking about making money or college tuition. If people need saving you stop talking about your love life and figure out a way to help those in need. Writer Sam Johnson has made it clear that just because someone wears a cape doesn’t mean they’re deserving of your praise. They’re characters who for the most part are barely able to navigate their own lives. Ruby became a superhero after stealing tech from some guy. The first real villain she encountered destroyed most of the town’s police department and put her in the hospital. Her best friend Summer ends up taking up the Geek Girl mantle nearly ending her own life and friendship once Ruby wakes up. This is a comic-book that explores the reality of a character’s inability to live up to the tropes of being a hero. The only one who has an instinct for it is a new man on the scene. And he looks as if the city isn’t worthy of his heroism. 

Overall, ‘Geek Girl’ delivers a complex ongoing story of Ruby while introducing a new set of characters. You need to get your hands on this jumping off point into new adventures. 

About Donna-Lyn Washington 634 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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