Big Girls by Jason Howard kicked off with a killer first issue that followed through on a high concept with a thrilling story. Can this second issue sustain the intrigue that made the debut issue so compelling?
Big Girls #2 continues from the cliffhanger at the end of the first issue, resolving it by introducing two more Big Girls into the heat of the battle… including one, Apex, who does not have the same moral questions that plague Ember's mind. To Ember and, indeed, the forces that uphold the rules of the Preserve, the creatures they're fighting off are monsters whose actions feed the cancer that made them this way. Pure and simple, clean, and easy. Ember has begun to question this, though, and this issue, we spend a great deal of time with the… let's say "opposing forces" to the Big Girls and the Preserve rather than the antagonists for now, as this issue deepens the moral ambiguity of this conflict even more than even Ember knows.
Howard writes and draws, and he has done incredible work. From the creature design to the metaphor at the heart of the series, it's an engaging comic in every way. For a book that focuses on big characters (literally) doing big things, the attention to detail on the smaller, human moments with the characters, such as their facial acting and body language, is great. Everything that was good about the first issue, from the plotting to Fonografiks' lettering, works just as well here, but the new information given at the end of the issue enriches the metaphor.
The central Big Girls metaphor felt slightly on-the-nose last issue, which didn't take away from the strength of the issue… but this second installment? Damn. Big Girls #2 digs deeper in every way.