Paper Girls #9
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Cliff Chiang
Colours: Matt Wilson
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Publisher: Image Comics
Review by Stephanie Pouliotte
Paper Girls #9 continues the thrilling mystery of the previous issue, which left off as Erin reads a message seemingly from another dimension warning her not to trust the “other Erin”. She forgoes full disclosure with her future-self as they are reunited with Mac, Tiffany and yet another version of Erin Tieng. Alternate-Erin claims she needs to bring the girls to a safe dimension before they are found by the Old-Timers, who could descend upon them at any moment, and tensions run high as future-Erin and alternate-Erin square off. They both want to go a different path, leaving Erin and the reader wondering whom to trust at this pivotal moment in the story.
This latest issue of Paper Girls has been my favourite so far. The series has really found its rhythm and Vaughan does an excellent job of riding the tension throughout this issue. With KJ’s warning still in fresh in our minds, we aren’t sure who or what to trust. But even as the plot gets more complex, the reader is firmly rooted by the tight dialogue and the tense interaction between the characters. Despite having to deal with some pretty messed up situations, Vaughan still injects some levity into the story as Tiffany bull-rides a tardigrade.
One of Vaughan’s strengths as a writer is knowing how much to reveal and when to reveal it. In this issue he gives the reader scraps of information about time-travel and how the girls fit into this war between dimensions, not to mention an intriguing revelation about alternate-Erin (if we can believe her that is). He provides just enough colour to the story world to keep us intrigued, but still leaves us with no clue as to where it’s going from here (and yet another cliffhanger ending, October 5th can’t come soon enough!) My favourite part though was getting a glimpse of the threat that pursues them in an ominous two-page spread where Chiang and Wilson truly evoke the atmosphere of a dystopian alien invasion.
Buy it! With such a captivating mystery involved you may want to get ahead of the story, but in Paper Girls #9 Vaughan keeps you wonderfully in the dark. Chiang continues to amaze me with his artwork; his background detailing paired with Wilson’s twilight colours create a perfectly eerie setting. For those who’ve been following, you definitely want to pick up this issue, but I would highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a thrilling sci-fi comic that will keep you guessing at every turn.