Monday, 30 July 2012

God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls, by Jaime Hernandez (2012)

"God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls" is a superhero graphic novel. It was first published in the first two issues of "Love and Rockets: New Stories". 30 new pages were added.

I must admit that, when I first read "God and Science" in the first two issues of "Love and Rockets: New Stories", I was not completely convinced by this story. But, after reading it in one volume, with 30 new pages, I must acknowledge that Jaime's superhero story is a very good one.

Once again there's in this Hernandez' comics much more than meets the eye. "God and Science" is a very strong, multi-layered graphic novel.

First layer: with this story of super-girls running, flying, falling and wrestling, Jaime Hernandez can draw as many women bodies in motion as he can dream of, like in "Whoa, Nellie" (that takes place in the women wrestling world).

Second layer: "God and Science" is evidently more than a pseudo-remake of "Whoa, Nellie!". It is a super-hero comics with all the strengths of it. Like Alan Moore in "Supreme", Jaime Hernandez uses many flashbacks to create a rich and complex past for all his heroines. In a few pages, we discover all the teams they have belonged to, all the super-villains they have fought, all their alliances or struggles. Even though these heroines will probably not live longer than these 100-odds pages, we have the impression of knowing them for a very long time... Naming this story "Return of the Ti-Girls" is part of this game. Jaime Hernandez manages to create, in a little more than 100 pages, a whole universe as rich as many others...

Third layer: We have here a storyline with all that is required in any good superhero comics: extraordinary superpowers, gigantic fights, cosmic danger, psychological interrogations, twist in the end, etc. Jaime Hernandez knows superhero comics and can create a good one.

Fourth layer: "God and Science" takes place in the Locas-verse. The main character of this story is Penny Century. As Jaime concluded Izzy's story in "Ghosts of Hoppers", he seems to bring Penny's misadventures to an end in "God and Science". She had been dreaming to have superpowers for ages; now she has some and it is not as great as she had imagined... "God and Science" brings a moving and rich conclusion to Penny's story. Maggie plays an important part in "Ghost of Hoppers" too. She has no superpower but, as a superhero comics specialist, she can give good advice to her super heroic friends. And we have Angel, one of Maggie's latest friends, who discovers that she has superpowers.

And that's not all. As a fifth layer, "God and Science" is a new convincing proof of Jaime's mastery in storytelling. He is particularly good at describing people's feelings with very subtle touches, a silent panel, a movement of the hands, a specific look. The last few pages of the book are a very good example of Jaime's exceptional art: the conversation between Angel, her younger sister and their mother is just breathtaking: after a few panels of secrets disclosed and hidden again, of things half told, half untold, nobody knows exactly who knows what. One thing only is clear: Jaime is one of the greatest comics artist ever...

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