Set in Stony Stream, OH in 1988, this is the story of four teenage girls – Erin, Mac, Tiffany, and KJ –who are drawn into some very mysterious and dangerous situations as they attempt to deliver newspapers to the households on their routes. In the first issue, the foursome discovered a strange capsule in the basement of an abandoned home in a new housing development. Then some costumed assailants attacked the girls, and one of the attackers fled the scene with one of Tiffany’s walkie talkies.
Issue two begins with the strange assailant meeting a gruesome fate. He is savagely attacked from above by a mysterious creature/demon of some kind. Then the scene switches to Erin’s home, where the four girls have arrived, only to discover that the house is completely empty…Erin’s mother, father, and sister Missy are all A.W.O.L. Mac tries to place a telephone call to the local police, but there is no dial tone…only the emergency broadcast sound. The girls surmise that the family was given orders to evacuate the premises. However, Erin is reluctant to believe that her parents and sister would leave voluntarily without her.
Mac says she wants to go her house to retrieve her father’s gun, so she can defend herself and her friends against the “monsters”. KJ and Tiffany are in favor of the plan, so the four girls take off on their bikes. After a brief ride, they suddenly hear an eerie sound and see dozens of prehistoric pterodactyls flying overhead.
Frightened by what they have heard and seen, the Paper Girls arrive at Mac’s house, where they are greeted by Mac’s step-mother Alice, who has been drinking heavily. She explains to the girls that she watched as MacKenzie’s father just vanished before her eyes, shortly after an eerie sound woke her. Alice is convinced that this is the beginning of The Rapture as described in The Bible. Her theory is that God has chosen to leave only the sinners behind.
Alice pulls out a revolver and points it briefly at MacKenzie. Then she suddenly changes her mind and threatens to kill herself. Mac valiantly tries to wrestle the gun away from her, when suddenly it discharges. TO BE CONTINUED…
So far, I really like the story that Brian K. Vaughan has written. It’s different and definitely NOT predictable. I don’t exactly know if we’re dealing with extraterrestrials or time- travelers or beings from another dimension or something completely different. I’m also curious as to what is the agenda of these strange beings. Why Stony Stream? Why 1988? I’m hopeful that all these questions will be answered in future issues.
The story has been well-paced, with each of the first two issues ending with a legitimate cliffhanger. The theme and language here are best suited for more mature readers…say, 16 years old or older. I think teenage girls will easily identify with the main characters, their feelings and emotions, and their actions/reactions.
Chiang’s artwork is strong and solid and consistent. The use of smaller panels is effective in moving the action along. Splash pages are used sparingly and to great effect…to emphasize the really dramatic events. Bottom line: I would highly recommend this comic book series to others.
Please visit www.imagecomics.com for more information about “Paper Girls”.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.