- Writers: Kristi McDowell, Sean Ian Mills
- Illustrators: Gemma Moody
- Cover: Gemma Moody
- Editor: Emily Kudla
- Letters: Taylor Esposito
- Publisher: Joy Cat Comics
- Release Date: August 2015
Real life issues, relationships, nerdy jokes, and adventure are all well packaged in Gamer Girl & Vixen #2. This issue opens with Bianca and Liz going about their everyday lives. We learn that Liz has a girlfriend who’s sweet and Liz cares for, but also finds to be a bit too clingy. At cheer practice, Bianca tries to disguise a text from Liz about setting a date as a text from her boyfriend who happens to overhear her. The two quickly brush it off, but we find that Bianca’s boyfriend has been talking to her mother which only stresses Bianca out. She reminds him that the whole reason she’s not living at home is to avoid unnecessary conflict with her mom. While Bianca lies to her boyfriend about why she can’t meet up that night, it seems as thought she may still have feelings for him.
When Bianca and Liz finally reunite, Bianca sports a new look that surprises Liz—her Vixen outfit. They talk about their mutual villain-like acts (stealing) yet they maintain a lighthearted and easygoing quality. The duo decide to test out Gamer Girl’s (Liz) gauntlets a bit more to see how see how well they work. While Vixen (Bianca) is not as tech-savvy as Gamer Girl, Vixen’s headstrong approach allows the young women to test the gauntlets effectively.
We see flashbacks to Liz’s youth and learn more about what lead her to be a tech-savvy kid in the first place while also learning about her family. The while the two successfully work on their burglary skills picking up light items, they flirt playfully and become more comfortable around each other. When they’re back at base, they unexpectedly meet Jumpshot, a young man who’s costume is fashioned to look like a basketball uniform. The story leaves the girls with plenty of options on how to handle their new opponent, but leaves no clues as to how they’ll proceed.
Moody’s colors are vibrant and keep the mood fun throughout each panel. McDowell and Mills dialogue is believable and full of humor. Similar to the issue #1, Esposito’s letters are clear and effective, yet well placed as to not detract from the visual aspects of the story. The color choices, panel layouts, dialogue and pacing of the story overall make this issue pop. There’s plenty of eye candy with the bold color choices, and the character’s constant banter is flawlessly nerdy and humorous while still providing important world building and character development.
In addition to the realistic LGBT representation in the story, it’s refreshing to see that Bianca and Liz’s relationships (outside of each other) feature different ethnic groups as well as body types and personality traits. While these features aren’t abnormal in our day-to-day lives, it isn’t often we see them represented as normal in comics (or fiction in general). The lack of attention given to the physical and personal differences between the characters reaffirms the idea that equality is a uniting force. When our characters are more concerned about their experiences than their looks or whether or not they’re fitting into a societal mold, readers are able to get to know these characters in a more personal and intimate way.
This second issue in the Gamer Girl & Vixen adventures brings out Bianca and Liz’s personalities while keeping them both realistically flawed and likable at the same time. While I’m not sure what to think of Jumpshot (he looks like a pushover, but I’m guessing he can’t be that easy to take down if he’s bold enough to approach to thieves alone), but I’m anxious to see where the story goes next.
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