Writer: Brian K. Vaughan / Artist: Cliff Chiang / Image Comics
Beginning a new arc after the long-run question of KJ’s safety and whereabouts, Paper Girls turns a new page with the 4 girls reunited, stranded in a strange land, without future-Erin or even an understanding of what time period in which they find themselves. Pretty trippy and in line with the rest of the series thematically, yet Paper Girls #11 feels almost like another series altogether – a spinoff – without the familiarity of their Midwestern town, a giant tardigrade, mysterious time travelers, and all the other chaos we left behind. Instead, most of the issue is grounded in reacquainting ourselves with the long lost KJ, which is much needed after her long hiatus.
That is, until the issue accelerates to make their “Land of the Lost” adventure a little more fitting to the rest of the book. Take the chemistry of four teen girls and add a giant monster, indecipherable and thusly untrusted potential comrade, and an unknown time traveler, and you have the formula for establishing the beautiful mess that has been Paper Girls.
This issue is largely foundational and doesn’t offer answers to any significant questions, but it does let us learn more about KJ after a long absence, and adds a couple additional characters to the mix. Paper Girls continues to be a brilliant adventure with a strong female cast, and one of the most fun books on the shelf despite often leaving more confusion than clarity. It’s like an episode of Orphan Black in that way: for fans, you might not know what’s going on, but you don’t care. So you’ll keep learning.
Reading Paper Girls? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.