Publisher: Joy Cat Comics
Writer(s): Kristi McDowell, Sean Ian Mills
Artist: Gemma Moody
Release Date: On sale NOW!
When writer Kristi McDowell looked at the current crop of superhero comics, she didn’t feel that she was being adequately represented. In a world of overly masculine heroes and lacklustre, eye-candy heroines, she wanted to be able to read a comic that was slightly more representative of her own feelings and experiences. So, she did what I’m sure a lot of us wished we were capable of doing – she created one of her own. Enter Gamer Girl & Vixen, a charming and upbeat LGBT-positive series from McDowell and co-writer Sean Ian Mills that sees two young wannabe female supervillains falling in love on the streets of New York.
This first issue introduces us to Bianca, a fiery redhead being controlled by her overbearing mother, forced into a ‘perfect’ relationship with boyfriend Bo just to keep the peace and uphold the her parent’s standard of ‘normality’. By nights however, she prowls the rooftops as brazen lycra-clad thief Vixen. However, when things go wrong during her latest heist, Bianca finds herself being rescued from the clutches of the law by fellow wannabe supervillain Liz; a tech-savvy costumed teen testing out her latest power gauntlets. The chemistry between the two sparks from the get go, leading to an innocently flirtatious exchange between the two – and possibly a whole new direction for both of their lives moving forwards.
Honestly, you could superimpose this wonderfully charming blossoming love story against pretty much any backdrop and it would still work just as well, such is the strength of McDowell and Mills’ writing. Liz and Bianca’s exchanges feel natural throughout, filled with subtle – and occasionally not so subtle – flirtation without things ever coming across as seedy or tacky. Their inner monologues also provide a great sense of perspective on proceedings, giving deeper insight into their own doubts and insecurities as they nervously banter back and forth. It’s truly fascinating stuff, and the added ‘supervillain’ framing device only adds to the feeling of intrigue and excitement.
Gemma Moody provides the lively, eye-catching artwork for this first issue, her bright, fun colours and bold character designs giving the book an undeniable sense of energy. As an added bonus, both Bianca and Liz are given tasteful costume design and posing throughout – something sorely lacking in the bulk of today’s female superhero comics. While the action scenes are kept fairly simple for the time being, Moody’s clear grasp of movement and anatomy bodes well for the future of this series as it progresses, and – presumably – the stakes are raised. She also brings her characters’ emotions to life with a great deal of expression in their cartoonishly overexaggerated faces
Overall, while the ‘love story’ premise of the series may not necessarily appeal to everyone, it’s difficult not to see the charm in Liz and Bianca’s awkward flirtation, and with the superhero (or supervillain) backdrop offering up all manner of exciting opportunities for the rest of the series, this is definitely a comic with a lot of legs as it moves forwards. Upbeat, lively and relentlessly positive, Gamer Girl & Vixen confidently carves out a niche that has been lacking in the bulk of superhero comics, providing a relatable, well-written story for a sorely underrepresented demographic.
PREVIEW ARTWORK (courtesy of the Kickstarter page)
[Click to Enlarge]
Kristi is currently running a Kickstarter for the first and second issue of Gamer Girl & Vixen, which is nearing its goal with just a couple of weeks to go. You can check it out by CLICKING HERE.