At this point in time, most have either adjusted to their newfound life at home or have braved the world and gambled on their chances with the current pandemic. In either case, escaping reality or meeting it head-on, Jason Howard's (Trees, Wolf-Man) upcoming release called Big Girls addresses the complications with our new reality by exaggerating the future to the absolute extremes. Although the more on-the-nose advertising for the comic states, "men are monsters destroying the world. Only girls can stop them. Big Girls," the underlying context is more than a commentary on gender issues.
The us vs. them of Big Girls is palpable and completely adaptable to any narrative its readers would assign to it; us vs. them, feminism vs. sexism, socialism vs. capitalism, etc. In fact, this comic hits close enough to home in its social commentary that it's hard not to apply even the most lucrative pieces of it to our current climate. Whether it is the government overstepping its bounds to questioning morality when the greater good is involved, Big Girls is the next best thing to pick up during this pandemic.
Not only does it echo our current state by commentating on how new vocabulary tends to integrate into our daily lives after massive health concerns, where they have "megaorganisms" and "post-nanetic toxoids." We have "social distancing" and "shelter-in-place" orders, but it also sets up the extremes within these issues. Where we have Ember, a mega-woman doing her best to follow government orders, we also have Gulliver, a regular woman who believes that birthing boys are the answer to the vast overreach of The Preserve.
As one of these megahumans, Ember dedicates her life towards protecting The Preserve from mutated gigantic male monsters known as the Jacks. The fear of having one of these male megahumans is palpable enough that executing one in the middle of this "utopia" is seen as a heroic act more than an immoral one. As an advocate for pregnancy registrations and Big Brother-esque surveillance (the government even monitors one's grocery purchases), Ember is the personification of the state's complicated role in individual liberty; whereas they claim it may be for the greater good, but at what cost to the citizens it hopes to serve? Although it may be softly interpreted as an abortion debate, Big Girls does succeed in taking this issue at face value and elevating it further. Specifically showing how a political agenda can inhibit actual growth in a society and how quickly this control surpasses liberty and turns to a general police state.
Ultimately, Big Girls succeeds in its complicated and intriguing commentary on what roles people play in every day social parameters. Depending on which side of the fence, its readers fall politically, this comic can adapt to show the consequences of what any extreme ideology can lead to.
Big Girls is scheduled to release August 12, 2020, from Image Comics and will come out monthly.