Title – Deadly Quarry
Story – Brad Gorby
Penciller – Brad Gorby
Inker – Mark Heike
Cover Artists – Brad Gorby and Chris Allen
- Femforce team member, Tara Fremont, launches an investigation into the illegal smuggling, poaching, and exploitation of endangered species but the target of her inquiry is on to her and, on a flight to Jungle Island, she is subdued from behind with a knockout dart to the base of the skull. When she woozily awakens, she is clothed in a new costume and forced to participate in a staged hunt where she is the quarry. One by one, she turns the tables on the team of professional hunters who are tracking her until she is felled by a barrage of automatic weapon fire. The report of her death, however, turns out to be premature as she was just playing ‘possum and to their surprise, the remaining trackers are quickly subdued. The now giant-sized Tara finally finishes off the gang by busting in on the nefarious leader of the poaching operation.
- Tara is the only member of the Femforce featured in the plot and this issue is the definitive Tara story. It ties in her environmentalist/conservationist mindset with her fighting skills and her jungle girl background. The basic tale is tried and true: Captured hero(ine) is forced to run for his/her life while being tracked by hunters intent on adding a human trophy to the mantlepiece but the hero(ine) turns the tables and beats the bad guys. I’ve watched more than a few movies on late-night TV and on video with this premise. The thing is, I like the idea. It really works as a showcase for action sequences while requiring that, in this case, the heroine demonstrates a creative ability to adapt and overcome.
- I liked -Most of the story is very effectively told in flashback. Her sixth sense before her capture feeling that something was wrong but not being able to put her finger on it in time.
- She participates in the hunt because her friend Janis will be murdered if she doesn’t. She’s not only trying to elude the hunters tracking her, but she’s also got to figure out a way to save Janis’ life.
- Her seeming defeat contributing to her final victory.
- I didn’t like -The wrap-up happens too quickly. It would have been nice to see “Mr. Big’s” capture given more attention than just 6 panels, but this issue was intended to be a one-shot feature and not a continued next month story so I guess 24 pages just wasn’t enough space to do every element of the plot justice. It’s too bad because up until the last 2 pages the pacing of the plot was excellent.
- Tara is so strident regarding her socio-political beliefs that she doesn’t always come across as having a very likable personality although her goals are admirable. In general, I find that no member of the team (including She-Cat, whose gruffness and sarcasm seem to be more of a facade behind which she hides her deep feelings for people) has a bigger chip on their shoulder.
- Cover – The first look at Tara’s alternate costume and a great job of conveying the Jungle Girl’s ferocity in action without the use of additional characters.
- Splash Page – Are you kidding? Tara plunging from a perilous waterfall in a hail of bullets? Fuhgeddaboutit!!! Right away, I knew the issue was going to be action-packed!
- Generally – Interior art is black and white so the characters can’t be differentiated by using different colored costumes. Instead, Gorby uses their clothes and facial features to provide a way to tell them apart. Gorby’s panels drive the story forward with a good mix of set-up shots and action scenes.
- I really liked -The action sequences are so dynamic that you can picture the B-movie in your head as you read.
- Different perspectives in panels and panel layouts that are innovative without being confusing regarding which panel comes after the other.
Key scenes are accentuated with bigger panels even if they don’t show a fight sequence
The backgrounds have the right amount of detail necessary to set the scene without cluttering it up with too much visual information.
- Non-heroines, and heroines when they’re not in action, don’t all wear form-fitting spandex. Instead, there is a variety of clothing shown. Even the horses are drawn well.
- I didn’t like -Only 24 pages
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