In the first issue of this new all-ages comic, the daughter of Foxbay’s superhero protector is taking her job very seriously training as his successor. Things are going great, until tragedy strikes. Is it good?
The Adventures of Aero-Girl #1 (Action Lab Entertainment)
Our story opens on a familiar comic scene: night fallen over a city, with two costumed figures keeping watch. But these aren’t an ordinary pair; this is a father and teenaged daughter team, tracking a circus-themed crime gang.
After they successfully take down the gang (with Jackie taking down Bearded Lady, who has a super-powered coiffure) and head home in time for dinner, we learn that Jackie’s mom is concerned about how superhero training is taking its toll on Jackie. We see her sassing her folks, super-confident that she can handle this crime fighting business — no problem.
Dad Jack goes up to have a heart-to-heart with Jackie, where we learn some of the rules of this universe. Jack has a superpower called “battle spirit”, which makes him indestructible, as well as strong. One person has the battle spirit at a time and can pass that power to a successor. But there is a mystery to the powers; we learn that Jack got his power from the hero Battalion, who despite having the battle spirit, was killed in action.
The next day, Jackie is at school for a very important gymnastics meet, when her special distress signal comes through her phone. She leaves the meet and rushes to the zoo, where her father was having a gorilla named after him. When she gets there, the place is in chaos, with mutated animals and a new villain with a dangerous ray gun threatening her.
In the final moments, Jack makes the ultimate sacrifice to save Jackie, and the last thing we see is the gorilla emerging, holding her dad, the gorilla’s hands glowing.
Is It Good?
This book has a lot going for it: a spunky teen girl protagonist, a loving family dynamic, a great sense of humor, and a diverse cast of characters. Axur Eneas’ art is cute, with excellently rendered action – I especially liked the fighting Bearded Lady, with her beard as a weapon. The dialogue is well-written and the story moves along at a good pace.
Unfortunately, all the good pieces added up to a bit of an underwhelming whole for me. There was just nothing new with this story; every piece was something we’ve seen in a ton of superhero origin stories. The teen girl struggling to balance duty with everyday life is straight out of Buffy, and the death of the mentor is practically required at this point. Parts of the story even felt a bit didactic.
We absolutely need more girl heroines and stories with interesting and engaging girls as the star. I can see many pre-teen girls and boys enjoying this book, and can see it be compelling if Feenstra approaches the family story in a sensitive way. I’m interested enough to stick around for another issue, I was just hoping for something more substantial than what we got in this first issue.