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I know a lot of people see summer as the time to be out with friends, soaking up the sun and playing frisbee.
But that sounds like an invitation for boob sweat and a whole lot of flailing. (I am destined to be a vampire that only exists between the hours of 9 pm and 2 am).
Who am I to judge though? Maybe you want to lounge at the pool with a bunch of gross strangers and Band-Aids in the water, and in that case, have at it. My recommendation though is to crank the AC and crack open Brian Vaughan’s second volume of Paper Girls. (Read a life-altering recap of Vol. 1 here).
This is your spoiler warning.
When we last left our heroines, shit was getting funky as dinosaur-dragons popped out of the sky and adults maybe, kinda are plotting to murder 12-year-old girls. What’s new though? #BabyBoomers
Our then-there-were-three group has run into an adult that suspiciously looks a whole hell of a lot like Erin in the year 2016. This encounter might take the cake for scary shit even though there’s been a number of people vaporized.
Can you imagine being a pre-teen and meeting your adult self? That can only be a positive experience if you’re, like, Ellen or Beyonce. If 12-year-old Cassidy were to pop in on me now she’d find her glorious future-self eating Jimmy Johns in reindeer Christmas boxers.
Erin’s experience isn’t much better.
Poor, sweet child. She obviously doesn’t know it’s an election year.
As Adult Erin pops a Xanax – what I now wish I was doing having reviewed the past 12 years of my life – Tiffany and Mac remind everyone that it might be a solid idea to find out where the “frack” KJ got time warped to.
Lucky for the girls, a beautifully designed and slightly sinister Apple product spits out a map. Maybe it’s another Pokemon Go glitch. Or maybe Steve Jobs is still trying to control Apple from the beyond. (Have you read Jobs? This is something he would totally do). Either way the girls and Adult Erin figure they might as well follow this map because is it really the weirdest thing that has happened all day?
A car ride later and lil’ E and Big E are discovering the wonders of 2016 together at the mall.
This is where the ghost of Steve Jobs/the iThing sent them and fingers crossed they’ll find KJ. But before any real searching goes on Young Erin decides that Adult Erin doesn’t have enough anxiety in her life and mentions how this time line is “all wrong,” prompting a weird it’s-not-you-I-swear moment.
Right now Vaughan is hitting us with some real life shit in his strange time-jump apocalypse series. Sure the world is (maybe?) ending, but the worst part is finding out you’re still nobody after presumably, you survived all the trials of your teen years. If you’re reading this and you’re all ‘nah that’s not me, I’m fracking great’ then go straight to hell.
While the Erins are getting existential, Mac and Tiffany are furthering my emotional wounds.
Tiff… you sweet, sweet dope. You remind me of myself in Oct. 2016.
After Mac’s accurate prediction of the election they end up at her former house and you know what? I’m not going to tell you what happens there. Because it’s so good and painful that you should just bite into that tasty treat all by your lonesome.
With everyone on their way to the mall, we’re presented with volume 2’s heavy hitter: Sci-Fi Suit Erin. Yeah, there’s three now and Vaughan plays one of my favorite sci-fi tropes: which version can you trust?
Way to be specific.
Sci-Fi Suit Erin popped into the series earlier during this volume, but she doesn’t run into the Paper Girls until near the end. Tiff and Mac are saved by her which makes me want to trust her (also the suit is neat), but at the same time, Vaughan and Cliff Chiang (artist) keep doing these close ups on her face. Close ups always mean someone is sneaky. Oh and she’s referred to her “creators” once or twice.
What are your thoughts? Evil? Good? Chaotic good? I’m on team Future Erin because I have fallen in love with her. She and younger Erin are painfully human and this fact becomes so obvious when they’re juxtaposed against Sci-Fi Erin.
Regardless of Sci-Fi Erin’s dubious moral status, she joins Tiff and Mac and they don’t die by slime monster. Good on them.
The big moment of volume two comes down to 12-year-old Erin making a choice. The adults are taking their dinos and destroying the shit out of 2016 (still maybe a better outcome?) and Sci-Fi Erin is all “dude we got to skedaddle.” Not verbatim.
Erin has to make a choice; does she trust Future Self or Sci-Fi self?
It’s like she speaking right to me.
This is why having the story told with teenagers is infinitely better than if the Paper Girls were adults. Instead of getting all melodramatic and questioning ‘what is trust?’ or some bullshit, Erin calls Sci-Fi Erin a bitch and shoves her into a different dimension.
“It would be a sin to help you destroy yourself.” Wrong again Tolstoy. It’s pretty awesome.
After being rescued from the mall by the adult version of Erin’s little sister – stick with me, time travel is weird – they’re jumping out of a helicopter.
I mean really. They’re 12. What have you done today with your life?
Volume 3 comes out Wednesday.
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