Sunday, 5 March 2017
Full review on Starburst.
Julia Davenport has a problem in her sex life – whenever she orgasms, she releases a mysterious demonic entity with an unfortunate predilection for killing anyone in the vicinity. They didn’t cover that in sex ed lessons. Though the concept of Off Girl may invite comparisons with the acclaimed series Sex Criminals, it’s an interesting twist on the concept, with Julia’s superpower being more of a burden than a benefit.
Fine uses this to explore the idea of a woman struggling with an overpowering need for sex. This, however, does factor in to one of the problems with this first issue. Because it’s not made clear (or even acknowledged) why she’s so damn horny all the time, some of the decisions Julia makes make her difficult to like as a lead character. This isn’t helped by the fact that the story starts with Julia already knowing about her power, which does add pacing but also leaves us confused at points, nor by the rushed manner in which a lot of the scenes are written, with dialogue being very to the point.
What does make the comic stand out, however, is Mark Reihill’s distinctive art style, which looks something like the cel-shaded style of A Scanner Darkly crossed with a modern noir. Moody and evocative, Reihill’s art forgoes detail in favour of striking character designs and strong chiaroscuro, a style which particularly fits one expressionistic sequence at the – ahem – climax of the issue.
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