Set in the futuristic, supervillain-filled city of Foxbay, The Adventures of Aero-Girl is a charming three-part graphic novel scripted by DeWayne Feenstra and illustrated by Axur Eneas.
At the heart of the story is Jackie-C (superhero pseudonym Aero-Girl), a 14-year-old aspiring vigilante learning her trade under the ample wing of her father, Super Jack, a Desperate Dan-proportioned hero imbued with the Battle Spirit. The Battle Spirit can only be held by one person at a time and with great power comes great responsibility – Super Jack and Aero-Girl live normal lives during the day but take to the streets to foil villainy at night, though they usually still make it home in time for meatloaf!
Without wishing to give too much of the plot away, crisis strikes when a supervillain named Chimera inflicts grievous damage in a zoo and the Battle Spirit passes on to a good-natured gorilla. Can Jackie overcome the teenage annoyances of peer group derision and an over-protective mother to team up with Jak-Jak, the mighty ape, and save the day?
The Adventures of Aero-Girl is visually appealing: colourful, filled with action and easy to follow. There are villains and minions aplenty, as well as superheroes to take them on, and the tone is light-hearted and humorous throughout. Villains include a bearded lady who uses her beard as a weapon and The Salvage King, who bursts onto the scene in a vehicle made of scrap materials in search of the components needed to finish a device called the Recylenator.
The character names also add to the fun – some unexpectedly tough enemies are called Fuzzles and a funeral is presided over by Reverend Loveless, a none-too-subtle jibe! I also laughed at a few lines and set pieces involving mobile phones. Phones recur throughout the comic, as they do in modern life, and I guess this is a pet peeve of the author. At one point a superhero says to bystanders “now would be the time to put your phones away and run”, a nod to my own belief that most people view the world through the lens of their iPhone so completely they’d stand there and film their own murder.
But back to the comic!
Jackie is the key character and is presented as the typical teenager in many ways – arguing with her mother, wailing in the manner of a child about the fact that she’s no longer a child – but her sheer enthusiasm keeps the reader onside. The same can more or less be said about The Adventures of Aero-Girl as a whole. For all that feisty female heroines are probably still under represented in graphic novels, I wouldn’t say there is too much “new” about this comic – I was, for example, able to predict the key plot twist a few pages beforehand – but the finished product is so well done that this didn’t really matter.
The Adventures of Aero-Girl isn’t perfect. The main villain of the piece, Chimera, was an underdrawn character given his importance – a few more pages of backstory would have made me care about him and buy into the importance of defeating him more. There are also a few too many typos. On one particular page, for instance, “crazy” is “cray” and “I don’t know how tell my mom” is evidently missing a “to”.
These are minor flaws, though. Those who enjoy their comics fast-paced and fun will enjoy The Adventures of Aero-Girl. Its tone and visual style reminded me a little of Futurama – and that’s no bad thing.
Have you read the comic? If so, what did you think? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!