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BOOM! Studios is ready to quench your need for teen girls kicking ass with their new, 90’s throwback title Hi-Fi Fight Club.
If you’re not familiar with BOOM! Studios, it’s that weird-o (in the best way) comic book company with a particular fondness for female fronted titles. (Do you have a youth? They should be reading Lumberjanes.) There’s a certain whimsy they manage to capture while skirting past camp – at least most of the time.
Their unique style makes Hi-Fi Fight Club a solid end of summer choice if, for instance, you’re overcome by anxiety as your state’s been thrust into a literal hellscape due to rampaging forest fires. You know, for example.
It’s 1998 and tomboy/sweet baby angel Chris has landed her dream job at New Jersey’s best, and might I add phattest, vinyl store: Vinyl Mayhem.
She’s the new kid and desperately wants acceptance by the group of badass 90s teenagers, which frankly I don’t remember from my youth. For shame, Wyoming, for shame.
The girls all strangely hang out after hours, kicking boxes and show up the next day with band-aids. NOTHING SUSPICIOUS.
Chris wants in on that. She’d also like to maybe spend some time with Maggie who eyes sparkle like the sun and is the wind beneath Chris’ wings.
Issue #1 does the usual with intro-ing our characters. It’s a little too diary entry for my taste, but then again this is the 90s and I think everyone wrote with Liza Frank pens in their atomic purple Password Journal. A little hokey maybe, but it’s also cute and to the point. I don’t think that works against the comic; it really just puts you in Chris’ headspace.
Writer Carly Usdin has a pretty great soundbite from her Autostraddle interview where she describes Hi-Fi Fight Club as a mashup between “Empire Records, Sailor Moon and The Baby-Sitters Club.” Right now we’re in Baby-Sitters Club territory but our first mystery is about to drop. Where is Rosie Riot, the lead singer of Stegosour?
I’m ready to get all Moon Prism Power on this shit and see our #GirlGang bust this case open.
So who is our girl gang?
Our MC: Chris (clumsy, tomboy, nerd, cute as a button)
Likes: music, girls, comics
Dislikes: bikes, misogynists, mansplainers, balance(?)
Notes: is in like with Maggie, struggling to find her place and just wants to be let into the group
Dolores “D”: 19, goth, not a fan of Chris, newest hire before Chris
Maggie: 17, girl-next-door vibe, positive, friends with Chris but does she like-like her?
Kennedy: 18, cooler than anyone will ever be again, music encyclopedia, dating Logan (cool guy from comic book shop)
Irene: 24, store manager, dubbed “very cool adult,” into punctuality, level-head during a crisis
This mishmash of personalities are piquing my interest for issue #2; I wanna see how these girls interact as vigilantes and friends beyond their day job.
Nina Vakueya’s art and Carly Usdin’s story are a refreshing buzz after the slew of superhero TV Shows/comics/movies we’ve been hit with since roughly 2008 (Oh hey Dark Knight). Instead of the high tech, high fantasy obsession of 2017, Hi-Fi Fight Club strips that away for the relatable, punky pluck of the past. But it doesn’t feel dated. Usdin and Vakueya succeed at making the down-to-earth hero desirable.
Chris reminds me of 90s cartoon Peter Parker. She’s endearing, upbeat and looking for her place. It’s refreshing to have an average teenager take us through this world. Marvel and DC seem to have forgotten what grounds their characters, but BOOM! Studios relish in it.
Even the plot takes us a notch down from END OF THE WORLD antics and that in itself feels refreshing. When every superhero story functions at Mach 10 eventually the lack of contrast supersedes any sort of threat. Simply it’s boring. It’s unrelatable. And it’s been every superhero movie for the past 10 years.
Hi-Fi Fight Club delivers dimensional female characters in a world that’s a little off-kilter and wholly enjoyable.
The concept itself is enticing: a group of 90s girls who work in a record store by day and fight crime by night. Then the title kicks it up. Hi-Fi takes a masculine premise – a fight club – with a fresh revision.
The diversity of personalities and care of the creative team keeps this from being Charlie’s Angels. There’s a nuance to character interactions that are building up for issue 2 and I suspect will be well worth the investment.
Head to your local comic book shop and pick up Hi-Fi Fight Club. It’s a solid segway into fall.