Writer: Brian K. Vaughan / Artist: Cliff Chiang / Image Comics
“Don’t trust other Erin” is where we left off in Paper Girls #8, a message believed to be from KJ as the girls continue the search for their lost friend, and the entire grip of this issue lies in our putting ourselves in the girls’ shoes as they, and we, decide who to trust. As information continues to unfold readers are in the middle of a psychological civil war between two obvious sides: “old” Erin, who is clearly as lost as everyone else and trying to figure everything out as the de-facto leader by essence of her be the oldest, and the new, “other” Erin, who seems to know everything and has all the answers. One is obviously more suspicious than the other, but half the fun of this issue is to struggle over which gamble would make the girls more likely to find KJ and survive.
The other half of the fun is Tiff rides a giant tartigrade. That’s all I have to say about that, as it speaks for itself.
As the two newer Erins show their opposition to one another it’s clear this is a pivotal decision in this story arc. While the girls (and readers) decide whether to take the Fourth Folding like the cryptic message said, or the Fifth Folding like new Erin is telling them, there’s a little more exposition laced inside their decision-making, like learning the origins of new Erin, or, at least, what she would have them believe.
Paper Girls #9 does well in what it intended to do, putting readers in a “Door #1 or Door #2” scenario by which we can evaluate the girls’ decisions – and our own assumptions – as the plot unfolds later. There are a lot of other questions to be answered – questions about time travel, fatalism, all these crazy creatures – but they all fall behind one question for now: Fourth Folding or Fifth? Door #1 or Door #2? The pacing is incredible and keeps this weird messy sci-fi a page turner, and something great to look forward to every month.
Reading Paper Girls? Catch up on previous reviews here.