Paper Girls #18 Review

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan / Artist: Cliff Chiang / Image Comics

Still in the year 2000 and in the wake of Y2K, the girls reunite with Tiffany in faster fashion that we’ve typically seen in our previous separation plots. It’s refreshing to fly through to the consolidation of the group this time, allowing the story to find the more interesting knowledge sharing that happens as the girls share their newest conclusions and discoveries. That should happen next; in the meantime, this issue sputters a bit with neither strong answers nor new mysteries outside of the minor fare of general confusion. Still, Paper Girls #18 builds character as Tiffany is faced with the idea of her future self, and Mac and Erin discuss KJ’s sexuality in a very teenage way: one voice of immaturity, one voice of reason. Tiffany has a lot to learn about herself though, and the anticipation of meeting adult-Tiff hovers above each page of the issue.

Artistically, Paper Girls continues to be a treat, both with its perfect suspense pacing and its imaginative portrayals of people displaced in time from past, present, and future. The aesthetics offer a unique mix of nostalgia for the past and creative visualizations of a sci-fi future, all jammed into one book, or even a single scene. Combined with a natural, clever dialogue to each of its characters, each issue continues to be a fast, fun read.

Overall, Paper Girls #18 is a character-building issue that wraps up Tiffany’s separation sub-plot and brings the girls back together for what will come next. They know about the time wars now, but are yet to decide what to do about them. The decisions they make next will be important, and we can only hope they’re guided by an introduction to adult-Tiffany. Whether adult-Tiffany can be trusted or not, well, that may be another matter.

8.5 out of 10

Reading Paper Girls? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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  • Jordan Calhoun is a writer in New York City. His forthcoming debut book "Piccolo Is Black" is a celebration of the common adaptations we made while non-diverse pop culture helped us form identities. He holds a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice, B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Japanese, and an M.P.A. in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy. He might solve a mystery, or rewrite history. Find him on Instagram and Twitter @JordanMCalhoun

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