There's a certain allue to the bad girl, and comic books are full of female villains with perfect bodies (if frequently top heavy) and revealing and/or spandex outfits.  So the folks ar Comic Buyer's Guide decided to put together a collection of these female foes, and former foes, with Dangerous Curves: Comics' Sexiest Bad Girls, a magazine-type collection of their favorite characters in this genre.  Surprisingly, the result is a little disappointing.

Dangerous Curves has a very simple format.  Each character (mostly from Marvel and DC Comics, though there are a few from independent comics) has a few sentences about them -- a brief history and their appeal -- plus two or three pictures of them from their comic book covers or inside art.  And that's about it.

So what's wrong with this simple approach to comic-book cheesecake of the villains?  For me, it's a lack of information.  The introduction warns that "We provide brief summaries of (in some cases) thousands of panels," so it's undertsandable that Dangerous Curves can't give a whole history of each character, especially those who have been around for decades.  The introduction also defines "curves" as adult and sexy, setting the tone for this as an assemblage of eye-candy.
But what constitutes a bad girl here?  There are lots of villainesses and reformed villainesses -- but not all.  Why did the Invisible Woman's brief turn to the dark side make the cut, but not those of Supergirl or Mary Marvel?  Does Storm really deserve to be here because she briefly sported a leather jacket and mohawk?  The brief descriptions don't really describe what makes these selections bad girls.

But going beyond who is and isn't on this list, there's more ambiguity.  The introduction says "The characters in this volume are our choices" -- but how many people got to choose?  Why select 60, when 50 and 100 are more common amounts for best-of lists?  How did they determine who ranked where in the listings?  And don't the folks at CBG know it builds suspense to work toward number one instead of starting there and going, by definition, downhill from there?  And couldn't they procure some original art to go along with the comic-book appearances?

Dangerous Curves is a slightly too-simple collection of comics' female eye candy (much like its predecessor from CBG, 100 Sexiest Women in Comics).  While the selections are nice to look at, the lack of more information on the selection or criteria for this work leaves it feeling a little subjective and superficial.

Overall grade: C-
Reviewed by James Lynch

No comments: