Indie Comic Review: It Girl and the Atomics #1

It Girl and the Atomics #1 by Jamie Rich and Mike Norton – Image Comics – $2.99

It Girl and the Atomics has the unenviable task of being a spin-off of a one-off of a cult comic. That means there is a lot of history and backstory that are probably unfamiliar to most readers. Knowing that, writer Jamie Rich plunges head-first in to the world of It Girl and drags the readers along for the ride, feeding them bits and pieces along the way. But, are those pieces enough?

Fresh from the pages of Mike Allred’s MADMAN: Snap City’s favorite heroine is ready for her own crimefighting adventures! With the Atomics boys in outer space, it’s up to It Girl to keep the streets safe. Easier said than done: The Skunk, the man who murdered her sister, is out of jail and back to old tricks. Meanwhile, Dr. Flem has a brand new space-time experiment and wants It Girl to be his guinea pig!

For the most part, Rich creates a script that is both intelligent and entertaining. His characters are full of personality and the scenes are engaging. Whether it is punching bad guys in pawn shops or agreeing to crazy-sounding experiments, each scene reveals a little more about the personality and past of the titular character.

There is a fantastic scene in the middle of the book where It Girl attacks a known criminal. Not only is It Girl in for quite the surprise about his intentions for being there, but Rich applies a little bit of common sense logic to comic book tropes, putting a cherry on top of a fun scene. It is that kind of smart writing and turn on your head scene creation that give It Girl and the Atomics its edge.

But, for as well written as the individual scenes are, there are plenty of characters who show up who have no explanation or introduction. It Girl’s roommate, Dorrie. Dr. Flem. Any of the half-dozen assorted superhero-looking people standing around in Dr. Flem’s lab. And, for that matter, there is no explanation of who “Adam, Frank and the band” are and what they are doing in outer space. All of these characters and situations are either briskly glossed over, or given a small asterisk and referred back to the Madman and the Atomics collection. It would seem that if they were important enough to include in the book, they would get some sort of explanation.

The art by Mike Norton (Battle Pug) is quite strong. He gives each character plenty of personality to match the words coming out of their mouths. His fight scenes are clean, clear, and flow in a way that should be used as an example for other artists.

Overall your enjoyment of It Girl and the Atomics is going to come down to either a: your knowledge and familiarity of the character or b: your ability to just accept that there are going to be some characters and situations that you just don’t understand and to just go with the flow. It Girl and the Atomics is worth just going with the flow. Issue 1 is witty, well-written, and beautifully illustrated. Check it out!

It Girl and the Atomics is out today!

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