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  • Words: Darren G. Davis and Johnny Lowe
  • Art: Alex Julian
  • Inks: Grupo Escomic! And Jesus Salas
  • Colors: Grupo Escomic!
  • Story Title: Do You Want to Know a Secret?
  • Publisher: Alias Enterprises
  • Price: $3.50

A superhero from the 1960’s has found herself in 2006 now. Can she manage to find a place in this time for both her life and her superhero activity?

While the "time-lost superhero" concept is not new to comic books, there is still a place for it in the market when done well or inventively. With Judo Girl, Davis and Lowe are attempting to do both, but do they succeed well enough to stand out from the pack?

The readers are introduced to Judo Girl as she puts a stop to a convenience store robbery. She has all the heroic moves and the trademark quippy dialogue to boot and wraps everything up quickly. Her personal life as Diana Moore is not quite so easily handled as she finds herself missing her long-gone family and struggling to excuse her anachronistic tastes in pop culture to her neighbor. Thankfully, there is a distraction in the making as an assassin named Silencer has it in for a scandal mongering book author and his latest work. What is the author’s secret and who wants it hidden? Judo Girl aims to find out provided she lives that long.

Although this is a new #1 for this title, it picks up where the previous Judo Girl series left off. Unfortunately, I have never read the previous series and must admit that I was a little lost and confused in a couple of places. I was grateful, though, that this title has revived the long-lost practice of noting the references to past adventures so that curious fans can check them out if they want to. I found myself wanting to know how Judo Girl had ended up in 2006 with her youth intact as well as why she ended up in this particular time.

Despite the potential of the "fish out of water" aspect of the story, Davis and Lowe really do not delve very deeply into it – keeping things mostly on the surface. I was extremely intrigued by the appearance of an old Judo Girl flame who is now just that –old, while Diana has remained young! I turned to the next page, expecting to see more, only to find that the story had moved on. I really would have liked to see more exploration of Diana having to adjust to the fact that people that she knew have all moved on without her.

Moving on myself, to an exploration of the art for this issue, Alex Julian handles the pencils here with an exaggerated style. Some aspects of Julian’s work reminded me of Humberto Ramos, particularly thequasi-cartoony nature of the work, but Julian does have some consistency problems. The anatomy on some of the figures is off and this particularly seems to happen during the fight scenes. There are also still some rough edges to his work that the inking fails to smooth out. Julian, does, however, prove with several panels that he can also go outside the mold…and the panel boundaries, to great effect.

Judo Girl is a new addition to an old story idea but, regretfully, needs a little more push to make it stand above the crowd. There is a lot of story potential, as well as a lot of potential charm in the leading lady, but there needs to be a bit more bait on the hook to land the reader.

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