Sara Steele is one of the world’s top mechanics. Nicknamed “Motorgirl” for her unparalleled ability to fix any engine, fabricate any part, and build any device, she hails from a line of engineers-to-the-superspies. Her father, Sinclair, constructs lethal, gadget-laden vehicles for agencies such as the CIA, NSA, and MI-5. The two of them are essentially freelance versions of “Q” from the James Bond series.

Sara wants more than just a job at her dad’s garage. Not even spinning discs at local dance clubs as DJ Motorgirl, or practicing martial arts at the local dojo, seems to relieve her inner turmoil. One evening while alone in the shop, she receives a mysterious visitor: an ex-KGB chief, seeking to commission elaborately armed snowmobiles for his chateau’s security team. It looks like Sinclair’s been moonlighting for the other side! Sara has some competition issues with her father, so she decides to secretly take on the commission herself. Besides, she loves building oddball vehicles, and super-snowmobiles are just plain cool.

Motorgirl successfully develops her own clandestine business, turning out everything from getaway vehicles to death traps, working for assorted international villains. She becomes estranged from Sinclair, and her creations are often pitted against his. The irony is not lost on him.

When one of her devices nearly kills her dad, Motorgirl begins to reevaluate her priorities. But her nascent conscience isn’t strong enough to keep her from saying “yes” when she’s asked to make a deadly new sports car for a Japanese mobster. The yakuza boss is so impressed with her handiwork, he offers her an exclusive contract, which she turns down. Insulted and unwilling to let her build anything for his competition, he sends a goon squad to capture or kill her—but she fends them off with her gadgets when they attack during one of her club gigs.

The frustrated yakuza boss tries a new tactic: using the gear Motorgirl built for him, he kidnaps Sinclair as bait. Motorgirl sets out to rescue both her father and their relationship, swooping down on the yakuza in a tricked-out flying car. After winning the climactic, high-tech battle, she and Sinclair finally come to terms and recognize how much chaos their actions have spawned. They vow to team up and reclaim or destroy all the destructive gizmos they’ve unleashed.

While maintaining their underworld contacts, Sara and Sinclair covertly turn out gadgetry to help apprehend Motorgirl’s former clients.

A generally light-hearted approach, always energetic, fueled by flares of danger and passion. This as primarily a visually appealing adventure romp with character arcs hinging on questions of personal responsibility, spiked with a little geopolitical commentary.

The eternal dynamic of how we “become our parents” despite ourselves, and the gradual changes in worldview that sneak up on us. Motorgirl embodies the rebellious phase of postadolescence, but ultimately she channels her aggressive energies into positive uses and learns from her mistakes.

Mechanics are hot. Souped-up, tricked-out vehicles are hot. Spies, robots, and gizmos are always hot. Gearhead culture is all over TV. Cable channels have swaths of programming devoted to the allure of gadgetry. Motorgirl appeals to a wide cross-section of gearheads and gizmo-lovers, NASCAR buffs and street-rodders, DJs and club kids, manga/anime audiences, and superhero/superspy fans.

MOTORGIRL TM & ©2003, 2010 Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett. Illustration by David Hahn.