The illustration is pure Jaime. There isn’t a male character in sight, so we get the full range of his wonderfully illustrated women, from ageing wrestlers to Penny Century’s perfect figure. While keeping the women attractive, Hernandez manages to keep them grounded too – these aren’t male fantasies but real, appropriately-proportioned women. Their costumes aren’t simply designed to make teenagers pull comics from the shelf.
Hernandez builds his story around Penny Century, whose long-term wish to become a superhero has come true. However, we find her in the midst of a chaotic, destructive frenzy, which sets off a chain of events that culminates in the reactivation of a retired all-female superhero team called the Ti-Girls.
The team has a rich history and Hernandez’s superhero world is dripping with background and authenticity. The plot is just as sophisticated, with some clever use of time travel that will leave you wanting to go back and reread the book more closely.
What it lacks, ultimately, is soul. Hernandez performs a clever trick by weaving this superhero yarn into his existing Love and Rockets universe, but it leaves it feeling like a frivolous aside, instead of a solid attempt to write a serious superhero story that could still be appreciated by his regular, sophisticated audience.
Read more books by Jaime Hernandez:
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