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Strange Girl: Girl Afraid (Image Comics, 2005; #1-4)

Strange Girl.jpg

Beth was a normal girl, at least until the day that the Rapture happened and her parents got beamed away.  After that, she was still a normal girl, but one who now had to make her way in a world full of demons.  Talents for magic and bartending kept her under the red demons’ head honcho Belial’s protection until the day that she and her demon sidekick Bloato decided to make a break for a rumored portal to Heaven.

If you were to guess that Strange Girl is Remender’s exploration of religion and morality, you’d be right.  It’s equal parts road trip survival and exploration on the ironies inherent in having free will but being prescribed specific, narrow rules to have to by.  Or the hypocrisy of a person wearing religion on their sleeve and using it as a justification for cruelty.  These themes have held up pretty well over the last decade and still feel relevant.  Like a lot of the books from the time that were starting to push the envelope on content, though, there are a few jokes and tropes that have aged poorly.

Chaos rules Beth’s world, and Eric Nguyen and Joelle Comtois’s art reflects that.  Long, stylized, sketchy lines make figures feel frantic and environments worn down and in disrepair. Colors manage to give sparse line-work weight and detail but, in chaotic moments full of blood and carnage, ramp up the sense of chaos.

There are two groups that I suspect form the audience for this book.  The first includes fans of Remender’s work who are interested in seeing one of his earlier books.  The latter is readers who want a quirky, sarcastic end-of-the-world story.  

Collected in

  • Strange Girl, Vol. 1: Girl Afraid (#1-4)
  • Strange Girl Omnibus (#1-18)

Credits

Writer: Rick Remender | Artist: Eric Nguyen | Colorist: Joelle Comtois | Letterer: Ed Dukeshire (1-3), Rus Wooton (4)

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