Writer: Paul Tobin
Artist(s): Alberto Alburquerque, Marissa Louise (Colourist)
Release Date: 3rd February 2016
In case you’ve missed the first couple of books, Mystery Girl is the story of Trine, a woman with a mysterious gift. Ask her to solve a mystery and she instantly knows the answer. How does she do this, you ask? She doesn’t know, and neither do we. This book opens with Trine awaiting Linford’s arrival in Russia after his homicidal threats against Trine’s friends. Not that Trine’s been idle; after all, once she’s presented with a mystery, Trine KNOWS things.
Tobin nicely builds on Linford’s sadistic streak in this issue, but given the events of the opening few pages, clearly not his intelligence. The character has menace, but despite certain plot twists towards the end of the book, I still can’t help feeling Trine will always get the better of him. I feel Tobin’s characterisation suffers from too many symptoms of the stereotypical arrogant villain; filling the hero in on your nefarious plots, relying on external factors to do your work for you, yada yada. Pit that personality against Trine’s wit and sass? Even by the final panel, I’m not convinced Trine’s experiencing any genuine peril. She’ll find a way out of it. Whilst it is fun that she’s allowed to be so kickass, I think it detracts from the plot’s potential to truly excite and amaze.
Having said that, Tobin has created some interesting mysteries so far within the series. There’s clearly more to Trine’s powers than she’s letting on; is she able to read AND influence other people’s minds? I’m also keen to get to the bottom of why on-earth woolly mammoths still exist! On the flip side however, I’m not convinced by the British characterisations. As a Scottish person, it very much reads as an American’s stereotypical view of how the English are. If my own nationality turns up, I expect they’ll be wearing a kilt and a jimmy hat.
As for the artwork, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t entirely sold on Aburquerque when I first picked up this book, but funnily enough, his artwork kind of grows on you the more you look at it. His scenery panels are pretty cool. If anything though, it’s actually Marissa Louise’s colouring that impresses me the most. She picks an interesting mix of shades that makes the book rather pretty to look at.
Overall, despite the negativity of parts of this review, there is something about Mystery Girl that intrigues me. Trine’s a pretty awesome heroine to follow; however I’m not convinced yet that Tobin’s provided us with a suitable villain to be the yin to her yang. Until he does, I’m afraid this series feels a little half-cooked to me.
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The writer of this piece was: Claire Stevenson
Claire Tweets from @cookie___raider