Review: It Girl! And The Atomics #1
It’s a little known fact that I love the Atomics. Since their debut in The Atomics #1 (Jan. 2000) from Allred’s AAA Pop Comics, this team of characters has had a special place in my collection. But, because they don’t have many books of their own, it’s a very small but special place.
So, quick history of It Girl and her friends, The Atomics: Some time ago, in Snap City, a group called the Mutant Street Beatniks were exposed to alien spores which deformed them, covering their bodies in warts. They blamed the city’s hero, Madman, for their deformities (the Beatniks were long time pains in Madman’s backside so it wasn’t like they needed a reason to blame him). After a while they began to realize that their mutations weren’t complete and they began to develop powers and, in most cases, the ability to return to their original forms or variations of their original forms.
Our title character, It Girl, has the ability to take on the properties of anything she touches. For example: if she needs to get to street level from a roof top, she can touch a plastic bag and float to the ground as a plastic bag would. If she needs to punch someone really hard, well, a brick building would ensure whoever she hits won’t be getting up any time soon. Other than a short appearance by Dorrie, aka The Slug, It Girl is the only member of the Atomics in this issue. the other members of the team are touring in space.
Alright, so, how is it? Well, if you’re a fan of Michael Allred‘s characters and story style then you’re going to really enjoy this. It’s got the same pacing and fun tone, as well as appearances by some of Madman’s friends, that has been the standard for Allred’s creations.
We know It Girl is bored with things and, while trying to be a hero and break up the boredom, she ends up face to face with The Skunk… the man who killed her sister. After a minor misunderstanding, it appears as if The Skunk has changed his ways and wants to live as good a life as he can. Plus the whole reason he got out of prison early after being convicted of murder is very interesting and I have to wonder how it would impact the Marvel Universe.
There is also the small problem of Skunk’s former compatriots wanting him to return to his former life while he wants to start fresh without being a criminal. Could we have an It Girl/Skunk team up? What happens when Lava Lass (It Girl’s sister) returns? It’s classic comic book drama in the making here, folks!
Something else to think about is the mysterious ‘shadow woman’ who shows up twice in this issue… what’s the deal with that?
As a first issue, this was very well done. It’s obvious Allred is overseeing the direction of the series as well as how these characters are being handled. The story is fun and readers are given pretty much all they need to know about who It Girl is and what her world is like. Of course, if you’re a longtime fan of The Atomics and Madman then you certainly have an advantage here so it’s up to those fans to help spread the word on this book.
One of the things I’ve liked about Allred’s work, and one thing I was worried would be lost in this series, is the classic comic book look and tone. Well, I’m happy to say that even though the characters are drawn in a more modern art style, the series still have the same fun comic book tone. Mike Norton does a very good job of taking this world and giving a more mainstream look. It’s odd seeing Allred’s characters drawn like regular characters but it still works. There is just a touch of Allred’s style but Norton is certainly making this book his.
The writing of Jamie Rich is also pitch perfect here. This is still the same It Girl that I instantly became interested in over a decade ago when I first read The Atomics #1. I’m glad she’s back and, while I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the team, I’m really excited to see how It Girl evolves from here.
Let me put it this way: If you’re looking for a fresh new series to jump on without all the reboots, retcons, movie tie-ins, dark and gritty feel, heavy cross-overs and general nonsense that has seemingly taken over comics these days then this is the book for you!
Besides, look at that cover. How could you NOT want a book with a gorgeous, ready for framing cover like that? Especially a cover on a great book for only $2.99!