One of the things I like to do when reviewing comics is to ask a simple question: how well do I remember this comic several days after reading it? For most comics, the answer is usually that I remember little bits and pieces, the highlights and the lowlights of the comic, but the majority of it slips to the back of my brain.
Strange Girl, however, really stuck in my mind.
That may be because this is my first foray into the unique world that Remender and Jaten have created in this comic, and it’s hard to get my bearings. It appears that our main character is working as a bartender as a slave of a demon in “The Corridor,” a kind of Key West gone to hell, where demons of all shapes and sizes drink and barbecue and party like crazy. After a friend of hers dies, the girl finds her way to a castle ruled by the nasty demoness Queen Golgotha, and some very interesting twists and turns happen, twists that invert the classic adventure hero(ine) story.
Part of what makes this comic so memorable are Jaten’s hyper-detailed art and Ross Cowrey’s gorgeous coloring. Jaten’s imagination is breathtaking in some scenes. There’s a 3/4 page view of the Corridor on page 9 that has a tremendous depth of detail to it, for instance, and his depiction of the inside of the Queen Galgatha’s castle is clever and spooky at the same time. Jeanty is also great at drawing creatures. Galgatha’s little toady demon has real character, like something out of an animated film, and the personality to match. He’s legitimately funny and intriguing, and really is a lot of fun.
It’s striking how much Remender includes in this issue. He provides atmosphere, thrills, some real surprises, and a really sweet and charming ending. The only real weakness I had with this issue was probably by design. I didn’t really have a context into which to put these characters. I wasn’t given any explanation of what the Corridor was all about, nor even what Strange Girl’s real name is. (Though perhaps that’s because as a slave of a demon, she wouldn’t be expected to have her own name.)
But even with that complaint, I really loved this comic. My only real complaint is that since the Smiths’ song “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I want” is quoted on the cover, I can’t get that song out of my head. Damn you, Remender!