First Impressions: Paper Girls is a Complex and Charming Sci-fi Youth Adventure [Paper Girls #22 Review]

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We see elderly Wari and Jahpo in the far future, living in an elaborate house. They get a report that suggests the five girls are in this time period, and Jahpo leaves to find them. Meanwhile, the girls are hoping to find a cure for Mac's leukemia at the library of this time. They have hope that it can be done, but some kind of mechanical guardian attacks. They defeat it and split up into the future city.

Paper Girls #22 cover by Cliff Chiang
Paper Girls #22 cover by Cliff Chiang

Paper Girls #22 doesn't have a "the story so far" section on the credits page, which is a bit of a pain.

That said, I was able to get the gist of the story pretty quickly. The five "paper girls" have been jumping through time and have now landed in the far future. They come from 1988, their relationship is a bit strained at this point, and Mac has cancer. I wasn't able to glean who Wari and Jahpo are or why they want to find the girls, though that last part may not be yet apparent to followers of the series.

What did I think of it? It was enjoyable for sure. The girls are likable and have a wide array of personalities. Their chemistry and the adventure give it something of a Gooonies/E.T./Stranger Things/et cetera feel. Paper Girls throws in the twists of time travel, terminal disease, and grappling with one's own sexuality. These qualities give it a unique edge. Plus, the dialogue is pretty damn solid.

Paper Girls #22 art by Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, and Dee Cunniffe
Paper Girls #22 art by Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, and Dee Cunniffe

Cliff Chiang's artwork is stunning. The girls are given various physical qualities to set the apart. The future world has a subtly desolate feeling to it, which makes the setting a bit unnerving. The body language and expression of the girls is effectively communicative. Matt Wilson's color work gives the visuals an extra surge of life and vibrance.

Paper Girls #22 was a fairly easy comic to pick up and follow for the first time. The characters make their relationship clear, the setting is bizarre but easy to grab on to, and the artwork is great. This one earns a recommendation, even for a first-time reader. Feel free to check it out.

Also, I think it makes a few Black Panther visual references?

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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