With Saga now on a long hiatus, there is now only one regular series that gives you your fix of Brian K. Vaughan: Paper Girls. So let’s have a look at Paper Girls #24.
The last few issues have skirted around one of the series’ big questions: why are Wari and Jahpo in the future? Well, issue #24 finally answers that question. The story continues the girls’ two main quests: to cure Mac’s Leukemia and to get home. Like most of Paper Girls, the heart of the story is the girls trying to get through their journey through time by relying on no one but themselves. I love how the girls are still so enthusiastic after all this time, whether it’s Erin’s reaction to solving a puzzle or Tiffany’s reaction to watching the news.
One of the things about this issue is that it seems like the time travel elements are coming together. One reveal seems to suggest that the girls’ original future was influenced by their current adventure, while the scenes with Grandfather seem to be set before events from the first couple of volumes. Things are starting to take shape in terms of the time line of the time travelers, although we still don’t know what that means for the story and the series.
Cliff Chiang’s pencils are great here. The characters’ expressions are always clear, even when the style of faces becomes a little more simplistic for smaller panels or characters in the background. The fact that Chiang can convey the expression with simple lines and dots is a great tool that allows a lot of flexibility. The costume designs are great at making it clear who belongs when, which is a big plus with time travel being a central component to the book. My favorite part from an art perspective may be the first few pages of this issue. Matt Wilson’s color palettes do a great job of making it clear when and where the scenes are set, which is critical for a series based around time travel.
Overall, Paper Girls #24 answers a lot of questions. Some of the answers are what we expected, and some of them aren’t. It really does feel that things are starting to tie together, and the discovery at the end suggests that the girls are finally starting to see a way out of their stumbling journey through time. Vaughan and Chiang manage to capture the emotions and enthusiasm of the girls in a chapter that is more of the same Paper Girls charm.