In Counterfeit Girl, writer Peter Milligan envisions a future where privacy is dead and huge corporations know everything there is to know about us. However, while this doesn’t sound like much of an extrapolation, in Counterfeit Girl‘s world, identity has become an essential commodity. Black market identity switching lets you become someone else, perhaps even to the extent of gaining new memories of their life and adopting their personality.
The lead character, Libra Kelly, makes her living through performing such adaptations, but has a strong anti-corporate stance that sees her giving her services away to revolutionary types for free. This doesn’t go unnoticed by powerful corporations, particularly a thinly-disguised Donald Trump-like entrepreneur, who takes the role as the story’s main antagonist.
The art is brash, bold and in-your-face. While the story could easily be illustrated in a dark, gritty style, Rufus Dayglo and colourist Dom Regan have drawn more from the art styles of artists who made their names with Milligan in 2000AD in the 80s: the likes of Brett Ewins and Jim McCarthy.
The result, however, isn’t as compelling as the sum of its parts. The story isn’t as fast-moving as it could be and feels a little stretched out in the middle. Dayglo’s art is bright, brash and dynamic, and there are some gorgeous big panels, but elsewhere the detail drops and we found the odd panel that doesn’t match up with the best work that we know Dayglo can muster.
It’s an interesting enough read and is reasonably enjoyable, but perhaps doesn’t entirely feel like it deserves collecting in a graphic novel in the way that other recent 2000AD collections have, such as Brink and Scarlet Traces.