The Adventures of Superhero Girl
By Faith Erin Hicks
Dark Horse Books, 2013


The Adventures of Superhero Girl is both a webcomic and a graphic novel. They have essentially the same content, so if you are thinking about buying the book I would recommend checking out the website first.

Superhero Girl is a actually a full-grown woman, but other than that, she is exactly what it says on the tin. She has a fairly generic set of superhero powers (matching the original Superman powers -- before they gave him the power of flight, unfortunately), and she does the generic superhero things, which mostly means fighting space aliens and ninjas. The 'girl' part either comes from the fact that she has had these powers since childhood and first entered the superhero scene helping her older brother (the superhero known as Kevin), or possibly just because the author wanted to highlight her youth and normalcy.

As the strip was not originally conceived as a unified narrative, the plot is sometimes absent, especially early on. However, the overall theme is that of a young underemployed woman in the big city, trying to make her superheroing pay in a world that does not always take her seriously. While fighting villains is a constant background to the story, the central events are things like meeting an annoying boy, trying to find a job, developing a friendship with her roommate, and dealing with her sibling rivalry.

The comic is the traditional gag-a-comic format, with most of the humor coming from conflict between normal life and superhero life, personal foibles, and general tweeness. It is a good mix.

If you enjoy the webcomic you may want to check out the book. It is essentially the same content but with colored illustrations and backgrounds added to some scenes; these are well done and do improve the art. It is also much easier to read in an organized fashion in print format than in blogspot format. Unfortunately, the story currently has a somewhat unfinished feel, and there is no word on the comic restarting. The book had good reviews and Faith Hicks has said that she hopes that there will be more Superhero Girl in the future. However, she is currently having a lot of success with her newer books (you may have heard of Lumberjanes or Friends With Boys), and I don't have much hope of seeing a sequel any time soon.

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