Review: Danger Girl/G.I. Joe / Author: Andy Hartnell / Artist: John Royle / Format: Hardcover / Publisher: IDW Publishing / Release Date: February 5th 2013
Danger Girl is a popular comic book series featuring a team of female super spies who fight an evil global conspiracy called the Hammer Empire. Inspired by an '80s toy range, G.I. Joe is a popular comic book series featuring an elite team of military operatives who fight an evil terrorist organisation called Cobra. Given the similarities, a crossover was inevitable.
And therein lies the problem. The best team-ups occur when two dramatically different characters get shoved into the same situation and have to pull together. Which isn't the case here. Rather than picking selectively from the G.I. Joe roster in a way that would complement the all-girl spy team, scribe Andy Hartnell focuses his energy on a big and bold adventure about ancient Nazi super weapons, with a plot that is mostly an excuse to string a series of explosions and cheesecake poses together. G.I. Joe (aka Action Force to UK audiences) is all about a high-action fusion of super heroes and military fantasy. Danger Girl does the same thing, but with super spies. The combination of the two doesn’t create anything new and that makes it a little dull.
The art is boring, in the sense that it’s indistinguishable from similar books on the market. It isn’t ugly, it’s simply unremarkable. It’s clearly meant to display lots of large-breasted superwomen in alluring poses, but it’s also very simple, so it’s not really that attractive or engaging. The weird poses also made me think of the G.I. Joe toys; if you’ve ever owned one, you may recall how you could twist them into all sort of improbable shapes, turning their legs and torsos a full 360 degrees. This is reflected in the art, though I doubt this was the artist’s intention.
If cleavage and explosions are your thing, and you expect nothing more challenging than gunfire and cliché, then Danger Girl/G.I. Joe may be for you, but only if you’ve read the plethora of similar work already out there. Still, as an example of its genre (action adventure for lonely teenage boys), it’s pretty solid.