Proudly publicised as “There’s A New Geek in Town” by creator Sam Johnson, this opening instalment to the comic’s “Crime War” story-arc strongly builds upon the cast and situations initially introduced in the mini-series’ ‘first run’ by replacing Ruby Kaye as the titular character with Little Miss Popular’s best friend, Summer James, and depicting the “less shallow” fashion student’s disconcerting difficulties as a rookie crime-fighter. Indeed, as inaugural missions go, the super-hero ‘funny-book fan’ performs quite dismally, by first accidentally ploughing a simple street-thief straight through the glass window of a local hardware store, and then mere moments later, being completely outfoxed by a dapperly-dressed villain known as the Cad, whose only significant power is that he can supposedly “#$*% with girls’ heads.”
Admittedly, such an inauspicious start to the new Geek-Girl’s career as a bespectacled vigilante certainly provides plenty of bang for one’s buck, even during Pit-Bull’s sedentary still, brutally frank debrief as to his opinion of the young woman’s performance against the “D-Lister” and his “mind thing”. But disappointingly what then follows is arguably far less enthralling, as “the rest of Ruby’s clique” spend three-pages behaving in a thoroughly objectionable manner around the comatose heroine’s hospital bed cracking inappropriate jokes, and Summer seeks some semblance of solace in the company of diner dish-washer Mariella by regurgitating the plot’s main premise once again; “Remember how all this started –? You wanted to get Trevor Goldstein interested — so you could take his geeky teach-glasses, that they said give super-powers…”
Of course, these dialogue-heavy, rather wearisomely wordy conversations are intermixed by the writer cleverly focussing upon the exploits of Maine’s “new-crooks-on-block The League of Larcenists” and their first somewhat heavy-handed, aggressive robbery at Acorn Ridge’s bank. Yet even the masked men’s cold-blooded threat for the stockpile staff to “get those shutters back open or we’re gonna shoot everyone in here”, plus their van’s subsequent shocking teleportation back to the aspiring criminal’s secret lair isn’t quite enough to fully reinvigorate a narrative which gets a little too bogged down in adolescents feeling “about as welcome as a turd in a swimming pool.”
Correspondingly as inconsistent as this publication’s penmanship is arguably Carlos Granda’s artwork. The Colombian’s ability to draw dynamically-charged panels pumped full of animated life is vividly evident right at the very beginning of this book, courtesy of a single splash-page showing the klutzy buxom brunette showering a shop full of hapless customers with glass as she careens through the retail establishment’s entranceway. So just why he then later draws Pit Bull wearing such an amateurishly pencilled, clunky-looking costume as he does is disconcertingly bewildering..?