Gold Digger Platinum marks a turn in the Gold Digger saga. After one hundred and fifty issues of the original storyline, Fred Perry decided to change things up; adding a slew of new characters and skipping a few years ahead.
Gina is still the main character, but now she’s the chairwoman of the Explorers’ Society, and a professor of archeology at Georgia State University. Other major character from the series (Cheetah and Penny) make appearances in these initial five issues, but the primary focus is on six new ones; the students in Gina’s ‘Advanced Placement’ class, who accompany her on her adventuring.
The six new students are unique, but still in fit into the Gold Digger universe quite well. They all seem to have a some mystery about them; psychic powers, goddess possesion, sentient clothing, or a mysterious past. The same was true of the much of the original Gold Digger cast, and over the course of the series’ run we learned not only their secrets, but the interrelatedness of those secrets to everyone else’s. With six such varied characters, there’s sure to be many, many stories to tell.
The new issues are not a complete break from the old. All the old characters retain their back story baggage and the reader is expected to know it all. There are also direct continuations of stories from the past, such as the third issue, which fills in a blank space for Madrid whom we last saw in two separate appearances taking place at very different points in her life.
The new issues seem a little more intimate and focused than the sub issue 100 ones. The focus is on Gina’s investigation into what ended the Age of Wonders, and each issue builds on that incrementally as new discoveries are found at a steady pace. It’s kind of back to square one, with a focus on digging stuff up, and not traveling to the ends of time and space. Whether this is a new approach from Perry, or just a result of not having built up a new complex mythology remains to be seen.
All in all, the characters, style, and storytelling I loved in the first 100 issues continue in these ones. The new characters inject life into the story, and bring the wonder back to things that had become old. It’s a great restart to an old series.