I could not have less objectivity for this review if I tried. I just want to get that out of the way right now. I helped Kickstart this project a year ago because the goals of Jamal Igle (the writer and primary artist) so coincided with mine that I’d already written a novel addressing them.
So I’m kinda invested is what I’m saying.
MOLLY DANGER: BOOK ONE — MIGHTY is an absolute treat to both read and behold. The writing is accessible by younger readers, but never sacrifices the characters or narrative for simplicity. It celebrates both the joys and letdowns of superheroics in a way that feels real for both adults and kids.
The art is colorful and dramatic whether it portrays little girls punching giant robots, maverick cops getting yelled at and fired, or a young boy realizing that he might get to be best friends with his heroine.
Everybody — and I mean in the world — should buy this for a little girl who you think might like to read superhero comics but you’re afraid to give her an issue of SUPERGIRL because of all the up-skirt panels. And don’t even bring up Wonder Woman because Ed Brubaker is writing that right now and even if it’s good, that guy should probably not be writing for children.
So buy one for that little girl who deserves to see more heroes who look like her. Buy it for a little boy if you believe — like I do — that the boys could stand to see girls as heroes a lot more often. Then buy one for yourself, because you’re not going to want to miss this story, either.
This sounds like a lot of gushing, and that’s because it is. I think that this first quarter of Molly’s story is amazingly well-told and well-illustrated. But I also think it’s capital-I important. Mr. Igle set out to be the change he wanted to see in an industry that’s given up wonder and joy for darkness and cynicism. He could have written snarky op-eds and complained on comics news sites. Instead, he created a character that could inspire his own little girl while still remaining just as dynamic, exciting and heroic as the boys.
This is work worth doing and worth supporting. And if you don’t think so, then we probably can’t be friends anymore.
But don’t forget, this book is also fun! Listen to this rundown from the book’s promo copy:
“Molly Danger is the story of the world’s most powerful ten-year-old girl. A seemingly immortal, superstrong hero, Molly has protected the city of Coopersville for the last twenty years. Kept in constant isolation and watched closely by D.A.R.T. (The Danger Action Response Team), an organization created to assist in her heroic deeds and monitor her movements, Molly battles the Supermechs. Molly longs for a real life with a real family. Her life changes when D.A.R.T. recruits a new pilot, Austin Briggs. Briggs has his own motivations for joining the team; newly remarried, Austin is having trouble forming a relationship with his new stepson, Brian. Austin wants to use his connections to impress Brian, an avid Molly Danger fan. However, things change when Molly and Brian form a friendship of their own. She believes she’s an alien whose family died when their ship crash-landed on Earth and before the atmosphere could fully alter them. She also believes that she’s alone, the last of her kind. Everything she believes is wrong.”
Superheroines, supervillains, superspy-type agencies and everything you know is wrong. If you don’t think that sounds interesting, then there’s another reason we probably can’t be friends anymore. —Joshua Unruh