Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art and Cover by Cliff Chiang
Colors by Matt Wilson
Letters and Design by Jared K. Fletcher
Published by Image Comics on November 4, 2015
Paper Girls #2 picks up immediately after the close of issue #1. One of our mummy-ninja mystery men is making a mad dash with his bag of stolen devices. The issue then goes on to offer deepening characters and relationships, developing themes, and more than a few surprises. Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang maintain the excitement, intrigue, and childhood nostalgia established in the opening issue while giving their readers much more to munch on.
The issue’s opening page gives text in the mystery men’s language. Decoded it reads: NOSTALGIA IS DEATH. The language is a simple substitution cipher. For a decoder key, click here. This appears to be the title of the issue and certainly captures both plot and theme of the narrative.
But whose nostalgia? The title language belonging to the cyborgs suggests that this is their story, though we remain rooted sympathetically with Erin and co. Perhaps nostalgia is what brought our cyborg trio to ’88. Certainly, death comes to the bag-toting mutant man. But the character that voices honest-to-goodness nostalgia is Mac’s stepmom, who mentions how she hated being 12, back in 1965, but that life only got worse from there, so that by the time adulthood struck, the whole thing just fell apart. Or perhaps it’s much more universally abstract. Like in The Great Gatsby: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Thus the death could be literal, as it is for Jay Gatsby, or metaphorical in how we cease living in the present as the past becomes ever-more gold-tinged through nostalgia.
To read the rest of my review, click through to PopOptiq.