Superdames Comics brings together a hefty team of creators to work on their latest release with issue #1 of Jill Trent, Science Sleuth.
Jill Trent, Science Sleuth started out as a comic book heroine published in the mid-1940s who solved mysteries and caught crooks using her scientific genius, improbable inventions, and the fighting prowess of her faithful partner, Daisy Smythe. This issue reimagines that dynamic team in a new set of stories for a new world.
Science, Like Love
Writer: D.M. Higgins, Artist: Rafael Romero Magat
The first of the five tales sees a “World of Tomorrow” vibe created as they attend the Curie Awards along with the world’s greatest scientific minds. The awards brings out the rivalry as you’d expect too and showcasing new inventions brings the duo face to face with an evil scientist aiming to take over the world. A story with a real sense of scale from Higgins while Rafael captures the real futuristic edge to the visuals.
The Horror of the Huge Hamsters
Writer: Charley Macorn,Artist: Matthew R. McDaniel,Colours: Spenser Morris, Letters: A.L.Onfroi
A local science fair brings the chaos & excitement of brand new inventions being shown off with the hope of gaining that all-important peer approval…..add to the mix an escaped Hamster and the quirky humour brings a change of pace & direction. Almost a slapstick version of the duo as Macorn brings a “Honey I Blew up the Kid” sense of fun to this with a cartoony edge from McDaniel, Morris & Onfroi which suits it well.
The Mystery of the Manifest Volcano
Writer: Adam Rowe, Artist: Kyle Roberts, Colours: A.L. Onfroi
An eruption on a remote Volcano sees the action shift to the skies as Jill & Daisy parachute directly onto the island to explore first-hand. The discovery on the island is far stranger than they expect but the magic of science is discovery. A female adventurer tale that’s well paced from Rowe as we’re dropped right into the middle of the action and some great detail in the artwork from Roberts that ties things together.
Hearts of Steel:
Writer: N.J. Coyle, Art: Ryan Incandenza
Robots & AI take Jill’s focus in this tale when building a Robo-Jill seems like the best idea to multi-task….but in true mad-scientist form the robot starts thinking for itself with it’s creator in it’s sights. Coyle highlights Jill’s dominance in this issue as she pushes on with her own ideas but then Daisy seems to step in & save the day which helps emphasize how crucial the relationship between them are. Another look generated by Incandenza gives the story a new energy that captures the action & close relationship well.
The Sinister Smokescreen:
Writer: Jacqueline Ching, Art: Michael R.Hall, Colours: Frank Barbara, Letters: Declan Fitz
A definite 40’s tone to the artwork from Hall & Barbara matches Ching’s story well as the war-era sensibilities and dialogue are captured perfectly. Investigating fire’s in the city that seem to be just a little too perfect with their timing sees the pair take on the system and keep ahead of who they suspect.
Each of the five creative teams do a stellar job at maintaining a consistent approach to the relationship between Jill & Daisy. While they are obviously more than just work partners it manages that sensibly and giving it a very natural feel. They also manage to give the pairing a different look throughout as they switch race, shape and existing in different times across the five stories. What we end up with is actually 2 strong female leads who each have their own strengths which complement each other to make a complete team. Fun, high-paced and intriguing enough to make me want to consider tracking down some of the original material to read and possibly compare – it’s a thrilling read with a great mix of themes.