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Triggergirl 6 collects the story of Triggergirl, originally published in Creator-Owned-Comics, into one collected volume. What drew me to this comic (and what draws me to the majority of comics I purchase) was the art. Phil Noto does the art for this book, and as you can see, it is simply stunning. My favorite thing about Noto’s artwork thus far (and I’ve spent several hours googling it after reading Triggergirl 6), is the depth of each character he draws. His artwork, particularly his women, convey such emotion depth simply through the art that I never worry about the character’s being fully fleshed out through the text.
Though his women are most often beautiful, I never feel like they are being objectified through his artwork. Rather, it feels like the reader encounters them as fully realized and developed characters which is an immensely impressive feat to pull off through art alone. Also, his use of color is phenomenal. The opening scene of Triggergirl 6 fully demonstrates these talents. We see the birth of Triggergirl 6, as she lays naked in a clear pod underwater and then slowly transitions into a large right room. The juxtaposition of the water, room and Triggergirl 6 makes for an amazing opening sequence that your eyes will gorge on.
The rest of the book follows Triggergirl 6’s mission to assassinate the President of the United States. As the number 6 indicates, there have been 5 other attempts at this by previous Trigger Girls, all ending in failure. Trigger Girl 6 is no exception, and in her failure realizes that she needs questions answered – name where did she come from – before resuming her mission. For me, this is where the book begins to weaken narratively. The book turns from a dazzling science fiction/spy tale to a political book – heavy handedly attempting to bring the reader a message about the state of the environment.
*** Light Spoilers To Follow ***
This is done by making her creators animals that have been given the ability to talk by the president’s later mother. This turn of events was incredibly exciting for me. Include talking animals in any comic and it is something I will want to read (Rocket Raccoon is the sole reason I read Guardians of the Galaxy). However the reasoning behind the creation of the Triggergirls and the attempted assassinations is that the animals feel like the president has moved too far away from his mother’s vision of environmental sustainability, so they decided he needed to be killed. This is where the problems start for me.
According to the turtle, the wisest of the crew, the decision to assassinate the president was made in hopes of stopping the environmental damage that had been accredited to the president. Clearly the animals, thought technologically savvy enough to both speak and create a sophisticated human being with unparalleled physical and intellectual skills do not account for the fact that merely assassinating one man will not actually change environmental damage. In all likelihood the next-in-line to the presidency would continue with similar policies, and the damage would continue.
Which leads to…
2.) If the animals have created the perfect assassin in the form of their trigger girls, why not send them on missions to assassinate actual bad guys?
The President of the United States is presented as a pretty swell guy throughout the book. He seems nice, easy to talk to, really wants to get the opinions of his fellow men. There have got to be more evil men in the world that Triggergirls could be sent after.
As Jimmy Palmiotti explains
This idea for the series came from us taking a hard look at what is going on with the future of the planet and wondering what will be left if mankind keeps doing what it seems to do best: destroying the environment…From all of these ideas came the book you hold in your hands, a story about an assassin created in a lab and sent on a mission to defend the plaet’s less “intelligent” species. We wanted to take the story points to some extremes and add some of our own wishful thinking into the mix. It might come off as a bit preachy to some of you, but all the best science fiction does.
The heavy-handed feel to the end of the book, is less poor writing and more a problem with the medium of the comic book itself. The world of Triggergirl 6 seems vast and fascinating, worthy of an entire novel-length comic. However, fitting the story arc into the requisite 4-5 issues limits the amount of subtlety that writers can use when tackling large political issues. Not that comic writers and artists shouldn’t try to address issues in their works. It is definitely commendable that Palmiotti and Gray decided to use their writing to take on such an important issue of our time and (and I enjoyed the writing up till the last bit). However, writers should keep in mind the limitations of addressing large scale political issues in the comic medium, and strive to work with those limitations to their utmost – whether it be dealing with an issue such as the environment a smaller-scale story, or elongating a story arc to add subtlety and fully flesh-out an idea.
Despite some minor criticisms, I enjoyed this book. If you are into books with spies, fantasy elements, and amazing art this is a book you might want to pick up. However, if you like comic books to deal entirely with fiction and leave real-world problems alone, then this may not be the book for you.
By: Kate Reynolds