Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
I think I’ve mentioned before that part of the new deal with this column, aside from the name change, is that once a month or so I actually get to post my own opinion. Same rules for commenting apply though. Agree, disagree, feel free to pipe up in the comments.
I wasn’t really sure what to make my first opinion column about until I went to the comic shop today. After claiming my pull list, I went over to the shelves and notices something interesting. The Vixen miniseries was already on issue 4.
I’d bought issue #1 when it came out and enjoyed it a lot (I have a thing for female characters beating the crap out of a group of bad guys while wearing a pretty dress) but somehow I’d forgotten about the series by the time the next one had come out. It never got added to my pull list and, well, fast forward a few months, and I’m suddenly THREE issues behind!
At least I got to spend an afternoon playing catch up!
I think I managed to forget about this comic because I rarely see anyone online talk about it. Which is a damn shame, because honestly, I think it’s really good! Actually, I think it might be the most fun mini-series I’ve read in quite a while.
I think part of why it works so well is that the mini-series doesn’t try to be grand or extreme. This isn’t Vixen takes on the Universe. This is a more personal journey. Granted it’s a journey that involves kicking the crap out of bad guys, but when you’re a superhero, that’s part and parcel. It’s still more Mari’s story than Vixen’s.
I am not very familiar with Vixen as a character, to be honest. The first time I’d seen her, she’d shown up in a Flash comic to carry Wally off. I have a thing for women carrying off men like that, so I was mildly intrigued, but I’d never really read enough to become familiar with her beyond being the “girl who does the animal stuff.”
I like the Mari in this comic though. She’s headstrong and spirited and doesn’t give up. She feels guilt over abandoning her home, and somewhat insecure about her place in the Justice League. And it’s fun to see her overcome her limitations.
I also really like the use of the Justice League in the series. I think it’s a very common staple for individual-character mini-series to utterly ignore the existence of this team of super-beings and geniuses that actually care about the character in question and want to help. Even though Vixen is making a mistake in not calling on their help at the time, it’s understandable. And that doesn’t keep the League from noticing something is wrong and trying to help.
Of course this promises to lead to Vixen rescuing her rescuers, and that’s always a blast.
I don’t know very much about Africa in general, or the Zambezi region in particular, so I can’t tell what’s accurate or not in the setting. It’s possible that someone who knows more could weigh in on this part. I do think that the story is very compelling, and showcases Mari’s powers and strength of character.
I’m really enjoying the series and it’s definitely on my pull list now.
Have you been reading? What do you think?