There’s something about Molly! Jamal Igle raises the bar for all-ages superheroics in this smart, beautifully illustrated graphic album from Action Lab.
Literally years in the making, Jamal Igle’s (The Ray) creator-owned all-ages superheroine Molly Danger makes her debut this fall in a gorgeous European-style album from the folks at Action Lab Entertainment. The latest in a series of strong youth-oriented comics from the publisher, Molly Danger seems poised to push the burgeoning new market segment to the next level with its ultra-high level production values, exceptional artwork, and engaging story.
Chronicling the daily exploits of the fictional Coopersville’s resident 10-year-old superhuman powerhouse Molly Danger, this first volume of the four-issue limited series smoothly introduces Igle’s titular protagonist and her milieu via a slick, tight fusion of character-driven exposition and bombastic action sequences. Igle’s dialogue and exposition reveal an intuitive understanding of pacing and characterization, talents often lacking in many modern writer-artists. Despite appearances to the contrary, Molly is a surprisingly complex heroine, whose mysterious origin and unique sacrifices hold just as many mysteries as they do revelations. There’s definitely more than meets the eye with Coopersville’s protector and not much of it looks good.
The craftsmanship exhibited by Igle and his uber-talented collaborators inker Juan Castro and colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr. is exquisite. Their passion and the depth of their respective creative investments into Molly’s debut are evident in every word and panel of this book. The creative synergy enjoyed by this artistic dream team is a rare but joyous thing to behold and in terms of sheer production quality surpasses the offerings of contemporary giants Marvel and DC. Infused with heart and skill, Molly Danger reinvigorates the superhero archetype with its accomplished melding of words and pictures; letting its audience experience for a just a few glorious pages the rosy blush of reading comics again for the first time.
Populated by strange, vibrant villains and an intriguing supporting cast and featuring stunning character and set designs, Molly Danger is a veritable textbook on comic book world-building. Igle’s eye for detail and talent as a project manager serve him in good stead here. From script to finished art, Molly Danger is a feast for the senses full of robust action and lively expression. Parents will appreciate Igle’s technical virtuosity and kid-friendly story and kids will identify with Molly’s sense of loneliness and constant impending change.
It seems Action Lab has itself another all-ages winner in Molly Danger, further cementing its status as a small publisher to be reckoned with.
Jamal Igle (W, A), Juan Castro (I), Romulo Fajardo Jr. (C) • Action Lab Entertainment, $19.95, October 15, 2013.