Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday Revue April 18: M9 Girls

Roll Up Ladies And Gentlemen! Bee Amazed By

Y'know, college can be really hard. Work, school, schedules, social life, internships at the local lab, cosmic radiation, mutating genomes, super powers....
wait what?

And you thought you had it hard in college? Heh heh heh
The creative team under the pen names of Rulo Potamo and Kanela, M9 girls can be found here. 
The story revolves around four college girls who go for an internship in a lab that deals with genetic and morphological experiments....and things get messy. Fast. Next thing they know,
Any' s slowing down time and reading emotions,  Pato's teleporting,
Clau's moving stuff with her brain and Karla's making firecracker sparks come out of her fingertips. Annnnnd then.....
Yep, you knew it was coming.

The Rating

a fun piece that took me back to my Sailor Moon and Inspector Gadget days

The Raves

Aside from taking me back to the days of Sailor Moon and saturday cartoons, which wins it some points from the get go, M9 girls has some really strong suits.  There's a great grasp of subtle expression and foreshadowing, always leaving the reader saying 'uh-oh, what's this?'  I quite enjoyed the constant sense of danger and intrigue waiting just around the corner. That impression is kept strong through good layout choices and strong dialogue.

The four main characters were kept from blending into one another by being given very distinct personalities and features, a good stylistic choice. And the sheer cheerful wonder with which they treat their new powers- 'Hey Professor, we have POWERS!' is pretty irresistible. I spent a lot of time grinning when I read this. While I would have liked to see the plot a little more fleshed out, it was explained in a very strong and direct way that kept you riveted. And sometimes, the art can really take your breath away.

The Razzes

Much as I enjoyed the strip, I've got a few bones to pick with it. And the biggest bone in my craw is the peaks and valleys in the art style. If the art was consistently at the level of its cover pages, it would be a good few notches higher in my approximation, but it seems that the creator saves that kind of focus for splash pages and gives the rest of the comic a much less sophisticated style. It might save time, but I'd like to see a bit more of a focus on quality, especially in shading and line. The sense of anatomy isn't bad, but the lines used are sometimes so thin that that detail is lost. Couple that with a use of very low value shading, and it gives the art a half-finished look that does not compare well to the gorgeous splash pages for each chapter.
There's some weakness in the grasp of human form and movement, particularly during action scenes, leaving characters looking stiff and two dimensional around the face. In certain areas, focus really needs to be given to making bodies and faces look as if they have mass and form; using fewer straight lines when drawing things like the chin might help it look more three dimensional.  Also, shading more heavily under the chin would really help round out the character's faces.
The story is pretty good, but sometimes it trips over its own tropes and strays dangerously close to the Derivative Area. The characters haven't gotten a lot of chances to really distinguish themselves in the reader's minds as PEOPLE rather than SUPER CHARACTERS, except for an attempt at a bit of romance that feels a little crowbar-ed in. This could be fixed by either focusing on introspection a bit more or focusing completely on the characters' super lives, but I've never liked it when stories stay in the wishy-washy place in between and idly add a little romance or emotion; it comes off as an afterthought.

The Revue

Get your Cocoa Puffs and stay in your pj's while you give this fun little story a read.


  1. How cool! Thanks for a thorough and smart review. I really enjoyed your writing style and the general format of the review. This is a great site and I will check some of the comics featured here!

    1. Glad it was useful for you, and thanks for reading!


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