Other Stuff Exists

Don't get too comfortable with the familiar–other stuff exists, so go explore!

The Powerpuff Girls Volume 1

Posted by Tracy Poff on March 10, 2014

Sugar, spice, and everything nice: these were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little girl. But Professor Utonium accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction–CHEMICAL X.

Did you read that in the narrator’s voice? On November 18, 1998, Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup began their weekly crusade against crime, and for the next six years, their adventures graced our TVs. The Powerpuff Girls was a hit, and it spawned at least ten video games, an anime spin-off (2006-2007), and a comic book series by DC (2000-2006). It’s been quieter, since, but there was a tenth anniversary special in 2008 and another CGI special in January of this year. It’s a series with staying power, and it clearly has a special place in the hearts of its fans.

PowerpuffGirlsVolume1-cover

In September 2013, IDW Publishing added another entry in the continuing saga of Powerpuff Girls media: a new comic series, written and drawn by Troy Little, an Eisner nominated writer and artist, and creator of Chiaroscuro and Angora Napkin. The Powerpuff Girls Volume 1 collects the first six issues, forming a complete storyline.

The story opens with Mojo Jojo attacking the city in a giant metal exoskeleton, which he assures the girls is totally unstoppable! As usual, though, they make short work of Mojo’s latest attempt, and he’s back in prison before he can even finish lamenting his loss.

It seems that this latest failure was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Mojo Jojo, and he decides to ask Professor Utonium to administer Antidote X, so he’ll no longer be troubled by the memories of his failures. But even with Mojo back to being just Jojo, things aren’t normal, since the other villainous residents of Townsville have suddenly and unexpectedly turned over a new leaf, as well. What’s happening? Can the girls trust their old enemies, now seemingly allies? Does everyone really deserve a second chance?

This first storyline (as one might expect, for the launch issue) features an ensemble cast of the Powerpuff Girls’ most popular adversaries, including Mojo Jojo, Fuzzy Lumpkins, Princess Morbucks, The Ganggreen Gang, and more, with everyone getting a little time in the spotlight. For example, we get to see the Ganggreen Gang taking on an environmental mission (keep Townsville green!), Sedusa working at a hair salon, Fuzzy Lumpkins working as a real estate agent, and Princess Morbucks being positively generous.

The writing is spot-on. The characters’ voices are true to their TV counterparts, and the story wouldn’t be out of place on the show. It’s sprinkled with pop-culture references, which add a bit of flavor to the scenes, and it’s got plenty of continuity nods to the cartoon series, for fans. It’s nice to see everyone again, after ten years, and this book picks up just as though the show had never ended.

The art, too, is expressive and well-matched with the series. There’s a great post on Troy Little’s tumblr showing the progress of a page from pencils to finished work. There are some other posts on there with in-progress and completed art, so definitely take a look!

Troy Little’s work on this comic is sure to please fans of the series, and it’s a solid comic in its own right. The book is available for pre-order now, but it’s not going to be released until April 29. It costs about the same as buying the digital issues directly from IDW, though, so for my money, it’s worth the wait for a nice collected edition on paper.

Disclosure: this review is based on an advance copy received free for review.

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