“The Comic Bucket List” is a limited column where we review 25 comic books and graphic novels we’ve been meaning to read for years. We discover if they were worth waiting for, or if they never quite lived up to the hype they promised.
DANGER GIRL (FIRST RUN)
J. Scott Campbell, Andy Hartnell
Initial Appeal: J. Scott Campbell knows how to draw women, and “Danger Girl” is about gratuitous in its near nudity, and sexuality as possible. In 1998 I was 15 and immensely hormonal, so the notion of a comic that flaunted beautiful women drawn by Campbell garnered my attention. Boobs!
Most Memorable Moment: When Abbey is about to steal the sacred shield, she’s interrupted by the gang boss The Peach. In an effort to distract him, she strips down naked in a hot tub and is forced to cuddle with his naked, large, hairy body.
Best Character: You just have to love Abbey Chase. She’s the main character and explorer recruited by Danger Girl, and she’s a gorgeous and lovely woman I was kind of smitten with. The homoerotic relationship between she and Natalia, as well as her friendship with team member Deuce make her a likable heroine we can root for.
Lives up to Expectations?
Mix James Bond, Charlie’s Angels, throw in Fox Force Five, and a dash of Diabolik, and you have “Danger Girl,” the comic that redeemed the utterly dull “Battle Chasers.” J. Scott Campbell just knows how to draw women to where, even if they’re in an anime mold, they’re just stunning to look at. “Danger Girl” is a shamelessly silly but fun ode to every spy and espionage action adventure ever made, with colorful villains, sexy heroes, and so much sexual chemistry the heroes practically drop trou and engage in an orgy at any second.
Abbey Chase is an adventurer who is saved by a mysterious group of spies named Danger Girl. They’re led by Deuce, a retired spy who looks suspiciously like Sean Connery, who spent most of his early years dressing in tuxedos, saving the world, and drinking Martinees shaken, not stirred. Abbey is introduced to a small group of scantily clad and sexy but deadly spies, all of whom are helped by the bookish but equally sexy Val, who is a top notch computer expert. They infiltrate the Hammer, and race against their armed forces to obtain parts of a sacred armor that, when assembled, will grant its bearer immense power. Along the way, we’re introduced to some exciting and hilarious characters including Johnny Barracuda, a Ladies man and top notch spy who woos all of the Danger Girls.
Not to mention there’s the enigmatic Zero, a ninja who appears often to help the team, and seems fixated on helping Abbey. The original run of the comic book went through a fast but steady pace. And while the action is almost non-stop, the comic book is thankfully so entertaining that it’s not even a caveat. Campbell’s art is incredible, with sweeping action splashes, fun Easter eggs hidden in large panels, and some of the most beautiful women ever drawn on paper. Abbey is especially a favorite of mine who has a mixture of brains, and beauty, as well as a great sense of humor. “Danger Girl” is silly and obvious, but that’s what makes it so much fun. The heroes crack one-liners while fighting villains, and take time out to fondle and ogle the Danger Girls in the midst of combat.
There’s also some really interesting gore, including a thug getting run over, and an experiment that makes a spy named the Falcon explode. Campbell also thrives on subtle humor that’s very sexual without making it obvious. It also helps that while the Danger Girls are almost always on the verge of being nude, they have great personalities, and some brilliant minds that make them banner heroines. Every bit of plot in this comic is purposely derivative and a nod to some form of serial or spy thriller conceived at an earlier time, and “Danger Girl” just embraces the silly, while entertaining the reader.
Campbell and writer Hartnell take every single chance to show our heroines in compromising positions, and because of the depth of their characters, I was never tired of seeing Abbey Chase in a skimpy party dress, short maid outfit, or scuba uniform. The villains are colorful and the classic Nazi mold, still looking to conquer the world long after the fall of Hitler, and it’s a fun bit of action adventure escapism that I wish could have gone on with a much longer run. I really hope someone picks up this property someday and makes a great movie out of it. “Danger Girl” cold be a spectacular meta-action movie that could work on-screen with good writers. Abbey Chase is a goddess.