RETRO REVIEW- Danger Girl: The Chase (2013)

There may not be a series that has been more appropriately named than this one. “The Chase” covers just about everything you need to know about this four issue thrill ride. The crux of the story revolves around a mysterious high-tech briefcase which houses an unseen power; a power that at certain points in the story can defy gravity, dissolve matter, and even cause what appears to be time travel.

At the heart of the story is Abby Chase; a sexy, intelligent, spy/treasure hunter who rivals Indiana Jones in her ability to hunt down rare and exotic items of interest and value. Abby has formed a team of extraordinary women who are each extremely talented and mind-blowingly beautiful. Each team member has their own specialty or skill.

Abby is the versatile blonde bombshell whose fighting prowess is only matched by her quick thinking and thirst for thrills. Valerie is the brilliant tech geek who works best behind a computer screen. Sydney is the ass-kicking devil-may-care combat expert, and her sister Sonia is the team’s world class marksman who prefers to work with a bow. Then there is Duece to round out the team, who is himself a rich adventurer that funds the group’s projects. Think of Duece as a cross between Charlie from Charlie’s Angels and the guy from the “world’s most interesting man” beer commercials.

It’s the pursuit of this case that kicks off this mini-series. Abby Chase and the rest of the Danger Girl gang are on the job of tracking down a mysterious woman with an intricate dragon tattoo, who is in procession of the case. Over the next four issues there are chases galore with planes, trains, and automobiles all taking center stage in the plot.

This series is about one thing and one thing only; action. It’s non-stop. From the opening of the series to the very last page, there is hardly a moment for the reader to gather themselves. This reads like a comic version of fast and the furious; just without the NOS. it’s this break-neck pace that drives the story forward.

While the scenes in this comic play out like a summer block buster it also means that the plot is flimsy, transparent, and often non-existent. There are pages spent with characters shouting at each other; arguing about the contents of the case. While Abby’s boss Duece seems to have the dirt on what exactly is inside the case, he holds that secret throughout the series. (Spoiler: We never find out what are inside … thanks Pulp Fiction!)

While it would have been easier to just admit to the reader that it’s unknown as to what’s inside, the idea of one of the characters withholding that information while his team members are risking life and limb to save this item comes off as contrived. This just doesn’t come up once either, it’s a running theme throughout. Just when the answer is about to present itself, it’s interrupted by the next action sequence … which wouldn’t be so bad as it keeps the reader invested, it turns out to be all for nothing by the end because the secret remains a secret. Personally I felt cheated at the end for not getting an answer.

But the lacking storyline and plot are secondary to the real star of this book. The art. Danger Girl has always placed the artwork at the forefront of the series. J. Scott Campbell was one of the creators after all. While Campbell can’t be bothered to perform monthly art chores any longer the task fell to Harvey Taliboa, who took the proverbial ball and ran with it.

The artwork in this mini-series is to die for. Every page is a comic junkies dream! Every woman is drawn with curves so shapely that the term babelicious doesn’t even come close. This is a love note to the female form by an artist that knows how to draw one hell of a beautiful woman. WOW! But there is far more to the artwork than the eye candy. There is vast detail in every panel. The action is in your face, the page layouts and design move the story along with a sense of speed and urgency that leaps off of the page.

Taliboa’s true mastery can be seen in the final issue where the strange energy of the case starts to tear apart matter and we watch as a helicopter is disassembled right in front of our eyes. Thanks to the artwork you can see every screw and bolt coming apart. It’s insane to think of the time and detail that went into that panel… but that’s just one panel! The entire series is just like that. From extras in the background to the technology on display, it all comes together in one amazing visual.

I would highly recommend this series to anyone that is looking for pure escapism. There is not a lot of substance in the story, but it is a white knuckle read. While it won’t take long to read the series, there is more than enough value in going back through the art and soaking up all the images you missed out on the first time.

Final Score: 4 out of 5 stars.

Danger Girl: The Chase 1-4
Year Published: 2013
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Andy Hartnell
Artist: Harvey Talibao
Colors: Romulo Fajardo

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