50 Girls 50 #1
Publisher: Image Comics
Writers: Doug Murray and Frank Cho
Artist: Axel Medellin
Cover: Frank Cho
“50 Girls 50 #1” We’ve all read the Lost In Space scenario if we’ve ever read science-fiction, whether it be from the Lost In Space TV show (or the terrible film), or the countless scores of sci-fi pulp books and comics. A space voyage goes into a worm hole or hyper drive and voilà! They’re stuck on some hell hole of a primitive island with no idea of how to get off. A Gilligan’s Island space opera.
So it should be no surprise to you what 50 Girls 50 is about. Even by simply looking at the cover and perhaps a preview page or two, you should easily have a clear grasp of the plot. In order to survive through a wormhole, one must have the XXX chromosome (basically a rare genetics where instead of an XX chromosome, a woman will have an XXX chromosome). There are only fifty women in the future who have it. They get sent off on an important space mission for the fate of humankind, get stuck on some dangerous planet, and there you go. Of course, the twist at the end hints that there might be more than meets the eye. But still, it’s your basic Lost in Space/Star Trek episode story line.
Now the question some of you might be asking, is what purpose do the girls serve? Do they have importance to the story or is it more for the visual aspects?
Fortunately, the female cast here is more than just an excuse for Axel Medellin and Frank Cho to practice drawing curves. It’s too early in the story to reach a decision about who the characters are or how much I like them. But fortunately, none of them are written as stupid, or worse, bitching and complaining the whole damn time. And if they don’t get stretched thin with having to write fifty girls in one series, I might really enjoy these characters and their development.
Still, none of these women are your Marie Curie or Gerty Cori. Let’s just say that the extra X chromosome must mean good genetics. And of course, two of them get into the mud. Not just any kind of mud; it’s the kind that disintegrates armor and clothes (don’t you hate when that happens to you?). Thus, the reason why they’re wearing crudely made bikini and thongs (apparently, no woman in the history of comics has been smart enough to make a toga, tunic, or just go nude).
Not that I’m complaining about it. But at the same time, it doesn’t factor into my enjoyment of a comic. If I just wanted to see pictures of pretty women, I’d buy a Penthouse, not a comic.
Fortunately, though, eye candy isn’t the only thing in 50 Girls 50. The main ingredient here is pure sci-fi fun. And what makes it entertaining, is that the team here knows more to the craft than just the gimmicks.
Doug Murray and Frank Cho do solid jobs here on the writing part. Much of what you’d expect from a space opera comic, like the crew talk with the boys (or in this case, the girls), or being chased by gigantic aliens, but without the major pratfalls that a mediocre writer might fall for.
But as much as I liked the writing, the real star here is the artwork, and not just because of the women. Everything here, from the landscapes to the alien creatures, is beautifully drawn by Axel Medellin and colored vividly by Nikos Koutsis. And kudos to letterer Thomas Mauer for keeping it clean and simple.
I’m not sure if it was intentional, but the team did a great job here capturing the spirit of the 50s to mid-60s science-fiction space adventures. While it isn’t what college professors would call a great literary work, it sincerely is a true blast to read through. So if you’re a fan of fun science-fiction or beautiful clean artwork, you might want to give this one a try. Look for it on shelves June 1st!
Advance review copy provided by Image Comics.