So what is Superhero Girl about? Well, to quote Kurt Busiek, “Superhero Girl is about life!” Sure there are some heroics involved (punching out intergalactic invaders, an ongoing crusade against ninjas, an evil doppelganger from the future), but at its heart, the Adventures of Superhero Girl is about a young woman trying to figure out her place in the world.
The main character spends her days under-employed and self-conscious. She has a successful older brother to whom she is always compared. Try as she might, she just cannot live up to the high standards set by him. Her powers are not cool enough. Her costume is not neat enough. She can’t even manage a decent arch-nemesis.
While all of this may just seem like another superhero parody comic, Hicks approaches it with heart. Superhero girl is the every-person. So she has a costume and mask. Don’t we all? Don’t we all put on something each day that is supposed to represent us? Don’t we all go out and do our very best, even when that best isn’t all that good? Don’t we all have families who are disappointed in us no matter how hard we try? Superhero Girl looks at all of that and tackles it head on with humor and sincerity.
Hicks’ art continues to delight. Her characters are full of personality. Even the ninjas, who are clad head to toe in black and rely entirely on body language, are full of energy and personality. Each character in the book becomes a living, breathing character under Hicks’ skilled pen.
For people who have heard Hicks’ name tossed around as the “next big thing, The Adventures of Superhero Girl is a great introduction. It is everything that is right about comics and everything that is right about Faith Erin Hicks’ art and writing. It is witty, charming, and a blast to read. My only complaint about it is that it had to come to an end. Hicks’ schedule got so busy that she had to stop drawing the strip. Hopefully she will find some time over the next few months to banks some more strips because the world is not nearly as wonderful a place without Superhero Girl.