Big Girls #4
Go big or go home with another stunning showing of craft and storytelling excellence from Jason Howard and Image Comics.
The pages of Big Girls #4 take to heart the Jason Derulo lyrics, "when the roof caved in and the truth came out." A series of flashbacks and revelations from High Marshall Tannik reveal the truth about the Preserve's secret enemy Gulliver and why the two of them are poised to throw everything they have at the other's destruction for matters.
Writer/artist Jason Howard really gives this issue a Shakespearean turn, exposing character motivations and rationales for hard decisions. As well, the toe-to-toe battle between the arguable protagonist Ember and the more experienced Apex has a surprising conclusion. The facial expressions, body language and actions that develop this plot are superbly engaging.
It's hard to discuss details of this issue without some extremely pointed spoilers, but suffice it to say that this issue asserts the presence of only shades of gray, leaving no room for the absolutes of "good" and "bad" as a global contagion leaves lots of people making hard choices. Ember goes through the most here as she learns new information about her history and the people she works with. Tannik and Gulliver are far more set on their paths, but even the fearsome Apex has a softer side.
Again, it's always important to note that this work of brilliance is not the product of some gigantic creative team, not generated by a huge office full of infrastructure. Jason Howard, with only lettering from Fonografiks, made every bit of this, from ideas to line work to inks to colors. There's not even an indication that there's an editor. That is not to be underappreciated, as it's not an easy thing for a huge team of people to do. This title, pardon the pun, is a gigantic accomplishment. RATING: BUY.
By Jason HowardWherein we find out why High Marshall Tannik is such a bad guy. Or is he?! Also, mistakes have consequences – Ember's, Gulliver's, Martin's even yours!