Review: Victoria’s Secret Service Omnibus
Bluewater Productions is probably best known for its references to popular culture, either through its biographical comics, its comics based on adaptations of somewhat obscure movies or television shows, or through its parody of other popular properties in comics or popular culture. Victoria’s Secret Service clearly falls into the latter category, even getting its name from the overly and extremely popular underwear company. Unlike the majority of Bluewater’s series, Victoria’s Secret Service is one which originated in the holdings of another comic company, the now defunct Alias Comics, and it represents some of the earlier work of the now-more established writer Terrance Griep. As is common with the passing of a team and a franchise from one company to another, an omnibus was produced which represents the most recent release of the somewhat obscure team.
Other than seeing the series from time to time on the shelves and thinking that it was a clever play on words to circumvent any legal problems, I have never been exposed to anything to do with the team. Clearly though in terms of its inspiration, the team draws heavily from Danger Girl, as a team of three, including one computer specialist that never sees the field, recruits an American thief to help them with an otherwise impossible mission. So too does the team borrow from G.I. Joe for their main bad guy, as Lord Mann is clearly influenced by Destro. Parody and paying homage to other popular culture properties is fine when done well, in fact it is what makes Danger Girl a continuingly appealing property after so long. The problem with Victoria’s Secret Service is that it doesn’t push those boundaries far enough. So while there are references to Victoria’s Secret, and homages to G.I. Joe and Danger Girl, this is never taken farther than some tongue-in-cheek humour. In the same vein, the series is at times clever enough. For instance, supervillain looking characters are introduced in some novel ways, such as when an otherwise normal person ends up looking like a supervillain as they go to a masquerade party.
The sum of the experience is a bit of a mixed bag. It is not as though the reading experience was unpleasant, but it was sometimes groan-worthy for either the dialogue or the jokes, some of which bordered on being a bit too far in terms of their sensitivity. At the same time it was a fun experience in terms of the reading, at least in terms of the pacing and the action. Additionally, some of the plots and settings were fun as well, even if they weren’t necessarily groundbreaking. In the end I would say that I would recommend it to a fan of the Danger Girl franchise, especially those frustrated by the relatively slow pace of releases. This is a series in the same vein as Danger Girl, and not necessarily even up to the same standards at all times, but still one which is a fun take on the genre and some of the people that it takes a poke at. At the same time, those that do not like Danger Girl or popular culture parodies will probably not find much of interest, especially those that like their comics to be either a bit more mature or a bit darker.
Story: Terrance Griep Art: Nadir Balan and Edgar Salazar
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read (conditional)
Bluewater Productions provided Graphics Policy with a free copy for review.