Paper Girls #17
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Cliff Chiang
Colourist: Matt Wilson
Letterer/Designer: Jared K. Fletcher
Publisher: Image Comics
A review by Stephanie Pouliotte
Paper Girls #17 is probably the best second issue of an arc for this series yet, but that may just be because we’re finally getting some answers! …Kinda… more like a clearer picture of events leading up to this point, as well as the solution to the mystery of the coded comic strips. Yet even though we’ve assembled the outer edges of the puzzle, we’re no closer to figuring out who to back in what Charlotte calls “The Battle of the Ages”.
It was evident at the end of issue #18 who Charlotte, the writer of the comic strip under the pseudonym Chuck, was in line with, but her seemingly cheery exterior is hard to read. She’s pretty adamant in backing the teenage chrononauts Jude and Heck, who she doesn’t know died to save Erin, and she’s knee deep in the “war effort”, as she puts it. Vaughan never lets the reader feel like the girls are ever safe, there’s always something to make us weary of the people they meet. At first it was as blatant as a warning carved into a field hockey stick, now it’s just an ominous feeling that seems to weigh on her every word.
Erin, KJ, and Mac do make a lot of headway, but this issue is still all about Tiff and that’s where all the action is. We get a peek into whose manning the silver mech, as we know from last issue the red mech is controlled by the Father and Prioress. It’s pretty evident who they’re up against, so make sure you have our useful decoder on hand (see below). Tiff got in a pretty serious crash at the end of issue #18, and I think we all knew she’d be ok. Where things get interesting is when she gets a glimpse into how the old-timers work their operation (though she doesn’t exactly realize what’s going on) and then runs into someone she really didn’t expect to meet.
Buy it! Paper Girls #17 is a really solid issue that keeps up the pace as the pieces start to fall into place. Don’t forget to check out the letter pages for some wonderful art submissions, featuring my new favourite Mac fanart!