Image continue their series of publishing comics that try to do something different to that Marvel and DC Comics do, but as is increasingly the case, this is a comic that is like X crossed with Y as this blurb from Image explains.
SAGA writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN launches a brand-new ONGOING SERIES with superstar Wonder Woman artist CLIFF CHIANG! In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Stand By Me meets War of the Worlds in this mysterious young adult adventure, starting with a spectacular DOUBLE-SIZED FIRST ISSUE for the regular price of just $2.99!
So there’s the pitch. I’m normally very, very wary of comics that are X crossed with Y but Vaughan is a writer who on his day is excellent, and Chiang’s work is different enough to draw the eye, and it certainly does in the rather excellent opening pages.
Of course this is a dream sequence but it helps set the tone of something that could just be a comic that hits various nostalgic notes just for a bit of reader recognition, though thankfully Vaughan and Chiang mainly avoid that. They do however sometimes slip a reference in that’s just to get the reader to recognise it for the hell of it and it lifts me out of the book.
But the characterisation is good, if a tad obvious at times (the plucky new girl, the posh girl, the smoking and swearing street kid) but Vaughan makes the thing crack along at a decent pace, though there’s not a lot of real insight into the girls themselves as the comic races to get to the next plot beat which means aliens.
Paper Girls is a promising read, and yes, the girls are a bit cliche, but Vaughan makes them likable (even if they are mainly one-dimensional) enough so you become interested in them. As a bit of science fiction it’s alright. There’s nothing too different from what’s you’ve seen before but the last few pages are superb in not just setting up the concept of an alien invasion but it sells the comic to you (it did me) enough to make you want to buy the next issue.
I’d give this a try if you were havering about buying it. It’s a good fun read and I’ll be back next issue to find out where this story goes….