Waaaay back in May 2013, I did a foolish thing.
I did not listen to @Talianai83.
And now I have been schooled. And about time too!
Faith Erin Hicks is a Canadian storyteller who has produced numerous volumes of graphic novels over the years, which coupled with her co-productions and her web based work, earmark her as a most prolific talent.
My first foray into her genius is the digital first, print later, The Adventures of Superhero Girl. We start with Superhero Girl, secret identity unknown, who is young woman of about eighteen and is trying to make her way in a small city as its resident do-gooder.
And as we quickly learn, while she may have super strength and invulnerability and can leap tall buildings in a single bound, Superhero Girl is still trying to find her way around the world, in and out of the mask. In the first bunch of pages she helps out a homeless person, saves a cat from a tree, and is shocked when her cape shrinks in the wash. And that is just the beginning of her travails. Just wait till you get to the marshmellows.
Plotlines and recurring characters populate Superhero Girl and her world, and how she reacts to them all helps create a truly fun and human character. One on level, dealing with her way more successful older brother, the glorious superhero Kevin, grates on her nerves and brings up all sorts of insecurities. But on another level, Kevin is someone she does love and protects and is rather close to. Someone she can beat bad guy butt with.
Meanwhile, Superhero Girl is also driven nuts by a self proclaimed superhero expert, who tells her that she needs a better backstory. His insistence on her doing things the proper way, with tragic history, distraught motivation, and an archnemesis to constantly fight, causes our heroine to be down in the dumps.
Thankfully, besides an occasional phone call from her slightly naggy mother, Superhero Girl’s main emotional support is from her roommate. Sounding board one minute, providing a reality check the next, her roomie is the rock of her crime fighting existence.
Which brings up what so many Geeks claim is the mirror image of the heroine. The villains! A space monster with giant tentacles might fit the bill, or an icky blob provide the proper menace, but the real terror to combat is the continual attacks of packs of ninjas! Not just one or two, but a pack of stealthy ninjas, led by the diabolical King Ninja!
You can tell Faith Erin Hicks is having a blast depicting the trials and tribulations of Superhero Girl. Her ups and downs and occasionally smashing into the sidewalk when she lands, all add up to someone you can root for.
…is currently reading The Death And Life Of Superman by Roger Stern.