By mid-1998, I was considering giving up collecting comics. Things got to the point where I just wasn’t enjoying them anymore. One day I realized I was still buying some titles out of habit, rather than because I liked the stories.
But the industry as a whole had issues back then: X-Men was unreadable, Hal Jordan was evil and dead, but not really. And Image Comics was not the company it is today. It just wasn’t a good time for comics, or for me.
But then came a new series from Image Comics that brought the fun back, and that book was… Danger Girl?!?
Yup. Danger Girl is responsible for keeping me interested in comics. I don’t remember what made me pick up Danger Girl #1, but I’m guessing it had something to do with J. Scott Campbell’s art. Yeah, he has a very 90’s t&a style, but one thing Campbell has always done well is facial expressions, and as an art student, I liked learning from him.
Anyways, Danger Girl was one of the first books from Image’s new Cliffhanger imprint. Launched in 1998 bt Campbell, Joe Madureira and Humberto Ramos, the new line had huge potential, but out of the three artists, only Ramos managed to deliver long running series.
But that’s a whole different story.
The first issue of Danger Girl begins with main character Abbey Chase pursuing a James Bond type villain named Donavin Conrad. He is in possession of a mystical Mayan artifact and making a getaway on a speedboat. During the chase, Abby is forced off the road by Conrad’s hencmen.
Not one to give up easily, Abby crashes her jeep into the water and into Donavin’s speedboat. Abby manages to beat the villain, and just before going over a waterfall, she’s rescued by a tall blonde dangling from a helicopter.
From the opening sequence alone, I liked Ms. Chase right away and knew she was one tough cookie. I also wanted to know who the hot blonde was. And when I saw the Bond-esque credits in issue #1, I was hooked. Danger Girl was going to be one hell of a ride.
The rest of the Danger Girl cast is just as much fun as Abby Chase. There’s Sydney Savage, the sexy catsuit wearing Australian. Her friendship with Abby was one of my favorite aspects of the book. Another member of the team (early on at leasT) was Tatiana Romanova, a sultry Russian formerly with the KGB. She was recruited for her phenomenal combat and espionage talents.
The other Danger Girl member is Silicon Valerie, a teenager who graduated top of her class at Oxford in her early teens. She’s the Q of the group, although she’d much rather be out on the field with the other ladies. The Danger Girl group was led by a man named Deuce, who bears a striking resemblance to Sean Connery. Deuce is a former British Secret Service Agent who was brought back from retirement to lead and oversee the world’s first all-female espionage network, otherwise known as Danger Girl.
If you know anything about J. Scott Campbell’s art, then you know to expect a lot of t&a shots. But unlike other comic books of the era, those shots actually fit nicely with the story Campbell is trying to tell here. He even makes fun of the situation by having Sydney Savage use her good looks and charms on the bad guys. Even Abby has some funny moments when she comments on the clothes she’s forced to wear. Let’s just say you’ll never see James Bond in a car-chase while wearing a little frilly waitress dress.
The first Danger Girl series lasted only 7 issues, and to this day I don’t understand why. Sure, Danger Girl popped up again a few times over the years, they even teamed-up with Batman, but none of those comics had the charm and fun of the original books.
That being said, if you ever run across the Danger Girl issues at a convention, don’t judge then unfairly, and give them a shot. Danger Girl #1 has everything you want from a 007 adventure and more. And yeah, it has some cheesecake shots, but the entire comic is just plain fun.