For the first time you can now read the adventures of Geek-Girl in one collected volume. I have reviewed issues of this series for The Nerdy Girl Express before, but in this review I will discuss the first four issues collectively and share my thoughts on one of the coolest geeks in comics.
Ruby Kaye is your average college student until she wins a pair of technologically advanced glasses in a game a strip poker. These glasses giver her super strength and the ability to fly, though they also turn her entire life upside down. Most of her friends, excluding the wonderful Summer who designs her Geek-Girl costume, make fun of her and mock her for trying to use the glasses. As she tries to cope with the bullying from people she used to think were here friends she finds herself pulled into a massive superhero showdown. A new villain has appeared in town, named Lightning Storm by the press, and attacks two famous superheros who protect the city, Neon Girl and Pit Bull. After the first attack on Neon Girl, Geek-Girl swears to help track down and defeat Lightning Storm.
In Geek-Girl, Ruby is trying to become more confident and find her own identity through the identity of Geek Girl. In the second chapter of the series Ruby and Summer go out to a club and she tries to feel sexy while wearing her Geek-Girl glasses. In this city superheros don’t really have secret identities, but instead are well known celebrities and she finds herself trying to fit within that mold. Ruby is constantly shot down in her attempts to flirt and panics when Nina, a new character introduced for this issue who is a very cool lesbian and I hope comes back in a later issue, starts flirting with her. I had previously read issues 3 and 4 for NGE, but had not read the first two and had originally thought Ruby might be a queer character. While Ruby is not interested in Nina’s advances what happens between them leads her to feel more confident as Geek-Girl. There is also an additional side plot involving doppelgangers and a former hero who is dealing with a broken heart that is surprising and brings Ruby her first big victory.
Lightning Strikes does end on a cliffhanger and I am very curious to see what will happen to Geek-Girl and Lightning Storm. One of the more interesting elements that I previously mentioned within this story is that superheros don’t really have secret identities, which forces Ruby to try and find a way to become more confident and exude the power she has as Geek-Girl in her everyday life. I also enjoy that the origin stories for both Geek-Girl and Lightning Storm are not typical superhero stories. Ruby wins her glasses and Emma, Lightning Storm, has an electrified teddy bear to thank for her shocking powers. Sam Johnson’s stories establish a more down to earth superhero who is struggling to be herself and the art provided by Carlos Granda and colored by Chunlin Zhao creates a dynamic world for the reader.
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