Title: Jill Trent, Science Sleuth #1
Publisher: Superdames Comics
Writer: D.M. Higgins; Charley Macorn; Adam Rowe; N.J. Coyle; Jacqueline Ching
Artist: Rafael Romeo Magat; Matthew R. McDaniel; Kyle Roberts; Ryan Incandenza; Michael R. Hall
Colorist: Spenser Morris; A.L. Onfroi; Frank Barbara
Letterer: A.L. Onfroi; Declan Fitz
Who is Jill Trent? Most comic readers may have forgotten about the science sleuth was created in the 1940’s, however, writer D.M. Higgins has not. Since the character has been long forgotten in the public domain, Higgins took a chance to resurrect and reinvent the character. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Superdames Comics has launched the title into a new series. What you get is not actually just one reinvention, but multiple. With a team of writers and artists, Jill Trent Science Sleuth #1 introduces you to five different versions of the character for a new age.
Each of the five tales is a short story where Jill Trent is still a super science sleuth solving crimes with her ever faithful assistant Daisy Smythe. Each story take a different perspective on both characters putting them into different times, locations, situations, races, and different perspectives on the duo’s relationship. Higgins and Romeo start things off with a more modern approach and setting finding Jill and Daisy having to stop the nefarious Dr. Klepto. The issue runs through the gamut all the way through Ching and Hall’s take that maintains the most Golden Age feel for the narrative and art style of them all as they stop an arsonist firefighter who wants to look like a hero.
All of the stories have several common themes that entwine them all. The most obvious is Jill’s use of science to solve crimes and predicaments. This is a great affirmation for younger female readers interested in science, especially when today you can have a Nobel laureate expressing ignorant sexist comments. The other theme is the way each writer and artist choose to design Jill Trent for their story. It turns the character into the idea that no matter the background, ethnicity, or orientation, anyone can be Jill Trent. In a day and age where the internet breaks over the change of an established comic character’s race or gender in a film, Jill Trent gracefully shows the ideals are what truly make the character and not anything else.
The first issue does a wonderful job of putting this forgotten character into the spotlight. Using her was a great way to address the social commentary of today while also creating several exciting adventures anyone can enjoy. We love who Jill Trent is and what she represents. As a new standard of what this character can bring to comics today, we cannot wait to see more of this fantastic Golden Age science sleuth.