Written by Steve Niles, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray
Art by Kevin Mellon, Phil Noto
Release Date: June 6, 2012

Two completely unrelated stories in very different styles with only one thing in common – they are pretty fun. Such are the best anthologies.

Niles & Mellon’s American Muscle is a post-apocalyptic teen drama. I don’t really understand what is going on in the story, but the art keeps it moving and the narration is unpacking bits quickly. There are offhand references to the world these characters inhabit, and it’s a very chaotic few pages as they race across the destroyed lands. I’m not sold on Mellon’s art so far, though there is a dramatic spread that I would love as a poster. Niles is known for his monster stories and we will have to keep reading to see if he’s treading familiar territory or striking off in a new direction.

Trigger Girl 6 is basically a super spy/assassin / adventure story with a very clean action-based intro to our lead. Palmiotti and Gray are really working the show-don’t-tell angle and putting Trigger Girl 6 right into a mission without wasting too much valuable space on superfluous information like motivation, politics or orders.  TG6 put me in the mind of Aeon Flux right away, very sexy in a skin-tight black outfit going off to kill some people. Noto puts a lot of movement in his pages and uses speed lines better than I’ve seen in a very long time. A four-page sequence with only one word in it had me flipping back through a few times to just take in how he was conveying so much with such economy.

Take two interesting serials. Add in interviews with the creators, Neil Gaiman, and a cosplayer featured in a photo layout as a Trigger Girl. Mix in some genuine excitement. End result – a debut that will have me back next issue.

The Verdict: American Muscle: 7/10. Trigger Girl 6:  9/10.

Keith is co-host of the podcast We Talk Comics.


Related posts