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Paper Girls Volume 3 Paperback – August 8, 2017
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Vaughan manages to twist and weave our protagonists through more times and locations and creating and ever expanding roster of characters for them to meet without completely bogging the story down or creating needless confusion. Everything makes sense. Or at least has some kind of set-up and pay-off that feels deserved. There aren't random deus ex machina thrown at you from different dimensions for no reason, as some time traveling stories tend to rely on.
If you have vol. 1 and 2, yes, yes you should buy this.
In the first issue of volume 1, Mr. Vaughan introduces the characters (four 12-year old girls) and the setting (a fictional Cleveland suburb, 1988). The rest of that volume has frenzied action where the town is under attack by unknown assailants. The girls' characters are revealed bit by bit, but it was hard to get a read on the characters or the plot (in retrospect (after volumes 2 and 3), the first volume reads better). The second volume is where this series took off. The characters are brought into the future (2016), and they see how the town has changed, meet one of their future selves (a bit disappointing when compared with the glorious images we have for our future selves at age 12), see huge flat screen TVs (awesome), and here twitter speak (they girls are totally confused by what passes for the language in 2016). With the trip to the future (but our present), it is a wonderful commentary by Mr. Vaughan on both the plusses (big TV's) and minuses of modern life.
Without revealing any major plot details or spoilers, volume 3 takes place entirely in the prehistoric past. It has much more character development. The overall series plot inches forward just a little bit, but the characters are primed for discoveries and changes about themselves for future volumes. Unlike the aforementioned wonderful volume 2, there is no social commentary on modern life (since this is in the past rather than the girls' future (but our present)). Still, I look forward to where this is going.
Cliff Chiang's penciling is good and Mr. Wilson's inking is outstanding. The creator page in the back provides the middle school pictures of all the creators with a year book like entry. Very cool.