Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks #4
Writer/Artist: Jim Mahfood
Colourist/Letterer: Justin Stewart
Publisher: Image Comics
A review by Stephanie Pouliotte
Even though Grrl Scouts‘ last issue was all table setting, a shit ton of stuff happened. Gwen had a pow-wow with what can only be described as the hooded offspring of Cthulhu; Josie rode the wave of social media mania; and (after a raging bender) Gwen and Rita hit up a peanut butter loving cat named Carl… who also happened to have a warehouse fully stocked with military-grade weaponry.
Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks #4 offers a bit of payoff for the weirdness that’s going on with Daphne’s remains, but it definitely put the brakes on the plot as everyone is still gearing up for what’s to come.
Josie’s part in Grrl Scouts #4 was basically a repeat of last issue, and I for one was eager to get on with it. At least this time she’s finally challenged on camera by some dissenters who are like: “Um you are legit murdering people, like maybe stop?” Well, they were a little more preachy and righteous than that, which of course does NOT go over well with Josie’s crew and her insane cavalcade of followers. Her social media army has grown to ridiculously outrageous proportions (if you thought last issue was outrageous, you ain’t seen nothing yet), but it’s still laced with some poignant commentary. I mean she literally shot someone in the streets in Issue #2 and only gained MORE popularity (hmmm, this sounds familiar…)
It’s certainly frustrating to see how easily her followers eat up her bullshit and how Josie taps into their hate and spins it to create her brand. Yet I feel something was missing here. Mahfood needs to do more than just crank up the craziness level. He had already set up the news media as the mouthpiece for Josie’s cult of mayhem, but he didn’t really build off that foundation, only exaggerated the spectacle even further.
There’s a lot of unnecessary vulgarity in this issue, in my opinion. It’s not really a question of being uncomfortable, just that it doesn’t seem to add anything new to what’s happening. It was the first time this series I felt it was more for shock value than anything else. I was hoping to get an intimate scene with Josie and her crew as they figure out their next move, maybe even seeing her mounting frustration as she struggles to figure out how to harness the power of the magic socks.
Luckily, most of the issue is not spent with Josie’s posse and the Pure Poo Propaganda News. Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks #4 had a great bookend revealing some of the mystery of what’s happening with Daphne’s remains. I won’t go into details as it will spoil some stuff, but the opening and ending were definitely the strongest scenes. Mahfood upped the trippiness for these pages, basically doing away with panels in his layouts, and Stewart adopts a paler, watercolour look that makes it all feel even more surreal.
Buy it. Grrl Scouts: Magic Socks #4 is mostly some extended set up from Magic Socks #3, especially the scene with Josie, but we get a bit of story progression at the top and tail of this issue. Though I must say, there was not enough Gwen and Rita!