by Various Authors

Marvel Comics, $19.99,  136 pages

No Margaret Cho here, and forget stand-up comedy, Girl Comics is a collection of superhero stories produced by the women of Marvel Comics. I especially enjoyed the interstitial featurettes, biographies of some of the legendary creators behind the most popular comic books in the Marvel stable. While Marvel could have just focused on the female creative staff of the last couple of years, they have rightly focused on the women along their entire history. Girl Comics features a very sparse character study of The Punisher “A Brief Rendezvous” by Valerie D’Orazio, a laugh out loud funny super-heroines in a salon story “Good to be Lucky” by Kathryn Immonen, drawn by Coleen Coover. As well as a Power Pack story by the legendary Louise Simonson, art by June Brigman, “The Job”, that did a wonderful job of reminding me that I was once much, much younger than I am today.

The stories are illuminating, sometimes whimsical, sometimes dark, always artistically expressive, and above all FUN!  If you have a daughter with an artistic bent, who knows the difference between a letterer and a penciler, or YOU are, Girl Comics is an ideal gift.

Reviewed by Bradley Wright