Paper Girls—Volume 4

paper girls volume 4 cover review trade paperback
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 9/10

Fun story

Some of the future stuff is gobbledygook at the moment

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Paper Girls

Publisher:  Image Comics

Writer:  Brian K. Vaughan

Artist:  Cliff Chiang

# of Issues:  5

Release Date:  2018

paper girls #17 cover imac cliff chiang art

Paper Girls #17

Reprints Paper Girls #16-20 (October 2017-February 2018).  Shuttled to New Year’s Eve 1999, KJ, Erin, Mac, and Tiffany find themselves caught in the middle of a time battle that is threatening to destroy their town and potentially the world.  As Tiffany learns about her future, KJ starts to question her own past as Mac continues to try to come to terms with the fact she will not live to 1999.

Written by Brian K. Vaughan, Paper Girls—Volume 4 is an Image Comics science-fiction coming-of-age story.  Following Paper Girls—Volume 3, the series features art by Cliff Chiang.  The issues in this volume were also collected as part of Paper Girls—Book 2 and Paper Girls—The Complete Story.

Paper Girls continues to roll, and the series proves itself to be both fun and thoughtful.  This outing has the girls in 2000 which obviously is a much more accessible time for more readers, and also cemented for me that the Paper Girls are my age (aka “Bicentennial Babies”).

As with other collections in the series, this story arc features another Paper Girl as kind of the “breakout” of the collection.  The previous collection was KJ and this volume features heavily on Tiffany.  It looks at her adoption, and like other entries, the idea that how you see yourself in the future isn’t always how it ends up.  Tiffany is pretty straight laced in the comic and she takes a punk turn (after dropping out of college).  It would have been interesting to see if there was more context to this change or if it was a sudden change (the older character is sticking around, so we might learn more).

paper girls #19 cover cliff chiang

Paper Girls #19

KJ’s adventure in the past continues to resonate, and it is building an interesting problem/reflection on the time.  KJ’s view of her future self indicated that she was a lesbian.  Unlike today, there was a lot more hard edge “ok/not ok” approach to homosexuality.  A person using a slur wasn’t necessarily shamed like today, and Mac (who seems like the most liberal of all the character) has a problem with KJ’s revelation.  There is also little talk about nature-nurture aspect of being gay in the story (KJ says she “is going to be a lesbian” and “might be one now”).  The gay-straight thing was much more believed to be a choice in the time the characters come from so Vaughan’s wording of KJ’s speech and Mac’s response seem genuine to the time and characters.

Paper Girls—Volume 4 continues to be a great series and I look forward to see where it goes.  The characters have left the past, checked out the near future, and now are going to the far future for an adventure in the next volume.  I do think some of the future vs. future storyline is gobbledygook right now, and I hope this next volume finally does a better job explaining the sides and the rift that the girls have accidentally walked into.  Paper Girls—Volume 4 is followed by Paper Girls—Volume 5.

Related Links:

Paper Girls—Volume 1

Paper Girls—Volume 2

Paper Girls—Volume 3

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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