Review: Paper Girls #2

PaperGirls02_CoverPaper Girls #2 rolled out last week, and the mysteries keep unfolding in the sci-fi adventure’s sophomore issue. Cliff Chiang’s artwork continues to perfectly compliment Brian K. Vaughan’s storytelling as he deftly captures the fear in one’s eyes, the nuance of a pre-teen girl’s upturned nose, the judgment she can reveal in a subtle snarl. Matt Wilson’s color work evolves to mark the passage of time, leaving behind the more varied palette of Issue #1, settling here into a softer, cotton-candy color scheme of early dawn that lends itself to the magical surrealism of the narrative.

*Spoilers below*

As the girls question the iPod discovered at the end of Issue #1 – something they only understand as a curious, Apple-branded device, being that it’s 1988 – they start to realize their local population has thinned considerably. This, in addition to the ever-expanding cast of monsters that are populating (and perhaps annihilating) the Paper Girls universe, has both the characters and myself strongly suspecting that a tear in time is at least partially to blame for the seemingly apocalyptic disturbances wreaking havoc on suburban Cleveland.

Folks who read Paper Girls’ debut will remember Erin’s opening dream-sequence, which left her questioning her sister’s safety upon waking. Issue #2 picks up with another foreboding nod to Erin’s sister, a character that has yet to develop but is likely being set up to have a larger purpose in the story’s broader mythology. (Or perhaps she’s just a McGuffin meant to propel Erin along in her journey? I look forward to finding out either way.)

As the girls try to figure out the best way to mount a defense against their increasingly bizarre circumstances, they find themselves at Mac’s house in search of a gun, which they unfortunately discover in the grips of Mac’s drunken stepmother. This is not only a pivotal moment in terms of setting-up a climactic cliffhanger, it also affords readers our first real emotional look at hard-as-nails Mac as a multidimensional character.

Paper Girls is a perfect example of why I tend to read my comics in collected volumes instead of singular issues – I want more. Now!

Story: Brian K. Vaughan Art: Cliff Chiang
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy in trade

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review