PAPER GIRLS VOL. 6
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Cliff Chiang
Colorist: Matt Wilson
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Publisher: Image Comics
Song: Supersonic by J.J. Fad
It’s bittersweet. This series felt like a long and awesome summer. A summer where you invested completely in the story that was happening and knowing that since those summer days were finite, you lived it hard and lived it fast. This series holds a special place in my heart and like an awesome adolescent summer, I’ll take it with me for the rest of my life.
Volume 6 wraps up the final 5 issues of the 30-issue series by the super team of Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, and Jared K. Fletcher. A tale of time travel and consequence, self-discovery and understanding. I mean, what’s not to love about our 4 Paper Girls. Rather than following the common tropes of your average pre-teens, these kids are as lovable as they are captivating. Throughout the series Vaughan captures the essence of a pre-internet childhood and smashes through multiple eras in time with characters who looked like they just stepped out of a Breakfast Club screening. These four girls looking to stop a war between two future generations of people and finding a way back home to a Cleveland suburb in 1988 all while screaming “eat my shorts” to anyone who stands in their way.
Book 6 starts off with our Girls separated throughout time. Erin in the current 2019 (maybe), KJ in 1958 (definitely), Tiffany in an era after the Old-Timers and descendants, and Mac at the end of the world. With The Grandfather, whom we just discovered is the baby, Jahpo, hot on their trail, the Girls each are coming the ending of their own individual stories. The masterwork of Vaughan and Chiang’s joint efforts in portraying the finale comes in during chapter (issue) 28 where the girls’ stories are told simultaneously, with each page separated into four panels. Each panel following a different girl as they come closer to being reunited and going home. This chapter (issue) is where a lot of the deeper, heavier dialogues take place. Erin deals with the Grandfather, Tiffany working with the future descendants, KJ learning how to be who she really is, and Mac coming to terms with her fatal disease.
*SPOILERS AHEAD (more so than the previous paragraphs)*
Each individual storyline finally reconnects in a small dusty town town in 1831. After an exchange of words with guns drawn, the Descendants and the Grandfather come to an agreement of peace, when Grandfather discovers who he really is. Now all that’s left is for the girls to go home, back to the morning after Halloween, before all this madness started. But not without their memories wiped. Meaning everything they’ve done and the knowledge they’ve gained about the future is to be erased and forgotten, and includes knowledge about Mac disease and her first kiss with KJ (insert crying emoji here).
The final chapter (issue) starts off in a dream that all the girls are having. It’s KJ’s bat mitzvah. But as soon as each of the girls wake, the lose dream almost instantly. The issue carries on as it should have if they never encountered the teenagers from the future. The girls bond as they should have, but subconsciously, they make slight variations in their actions, culminating with our girls riding off into the sunrise as the metaphor of both an ending and beginning is properly depicted.
But this isn’t the end for our Girls, not by a long shot. Sure, the comic series is over, but for those of us who like the idea of Comic Adaptations (I can hear @lifeofageekymind cringing), Amazon Prime just picked up the streaming television rights for a Paper Girls series and I, for one, couldn’t be more excited.