The Gamma Gals #1
Writer/Artist: Stefano Terry
Publisher: Fanbase Press
A review by John Dubrawa
There’s a lot to love about Stefano Terry’s The Gamma Gals #1. It has off-the-chart levels of energy, the characters are incredibly diverse and infinitely relatable, and it’s tween-friendly to boot. But what struck me the most is that it just starts.
Too often the first issue of a new creator-owned series will meander, and the real meat of the story won’t come until it’s time for that cliffhanger designed to goad you into coming back next time around. Here, however, Terry delivers all the-need-to-know information by the end of page one, respecting the reader enough to know that this is the world of comics and a backstory as simple as, “a Gamma bomb went off in this city and now there’s these three badass ladies running around as heroes” is good enough to get readers going. And from this starting point, The Gamma Gals #1 takes flight.
Throughout this twenty-plus-page adventure, Terry spends more time with our aforementioned Gamma Gals–Harriett, Kira, and Sue–out of their costumes than in them as a way to showcase their different personalities and personal struggles. For as cool as it is to see them all suited up and fighting crime (which they do), it’s just as exciting to see them all playing D&D together or dealing with the school bully as a supportive unit. By the end of this first issue, we see plenty of defining characteristics in each girl that we can recognize them as noble heroes even without them spending much time as their superhero alter-egos. Speaking of the end, there’s an interesting reveal that I won’t spoil other than to say it gave me some vibes reminiscent of Joe Hill’s The Cape, so I’m curious to see how that plays out in the series’ subsequent issues.
Visually, The Gamma Gals #1 is a bit more of a mixed bag. Terry provides the interior art for the issue and brings a lot of lightheartedness to the book’s overall aesthetic. Colors are bright and characters are smiling more often than not, so the issue succeeds in matching the tone of its story to its look perfectly. What’s strange is the way the style seemingly switches after the first few pages—Terry’s art begins with the girls in costume and adopts a very old-school pop art style that is extremely eye-catching. From there on out though, the art style changes to very thick lines that cause some scenes to feel very crowded in smaller panels. Terry’s art looks great overall, but the change in style so early on is a bit of a head-scratcher.
Buy it! The Gamma Gals #1 is the first of four digital-only comics that are absolutely worth checking out, especially those frustrated with the current comic landscape as it pertains to younger readers. It’s a comic about RPG-loving teenage girls that’s perfect for any reader of that age. Writer and artist Stefano Terry deals heavily in the girls’ normal high school life, allowing their personalities to come through in their interactions with one another as well as their dreaded school bully. And if the end of the issue is any indication, Terry also has a few interesting surprises up her sleeve.