Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Here’s a great catch by blogger Corey Blake and a great “is this real life?” moment for the rest of us: An Amazon listing for a hardcover collection of the 2003 miniseries Trouble by Mark Millar and Terry Dodson, slated for release on June 8, 2011.
For those of you who don’t recall those heady days, Trouble was part of the short-lived, Bill Jemas-shepherded revival of Marvel’s Epic imprint and an attempt to create the first hit romance comic in god knows how long. (I know, nothing says “romance comic” like Wanted, Kick-Ass, Nemesis, and Superior writer Mark Millar, but this was the same Nu-Marvel era that gave us Bendis/Maleev Daredevil, Milligan/Allred X-Statix, Millar/Hitch Ultimates, Morrison/Quitely New X-Men and so on, so cut ‘em some slack.)
Quite aside from whether the book was or wasn’t a good read, Trouble caused trouble for two reasons. First, it was basically a mildly randy sex dramedy about the teen years of Aunt May, Uncle Ben, and Peter Parker’s parents Mary and Richard…and it revealed that Peter was secretly May’s son through a hushed-up teen pregnancy. (I think — I’ve never been able to figure out how the very elderly May Parker made sense as the aunt for teenage Peter Parker, and having her be a teen herself at the time of his conception only confused me further.) At the time, Millar stated that this would be Spider-Man’s new origin if the book went over well. It didn’t, so the book never made it into official continuity.
Second, it ran with photo covers like the one you see above. The idea was to mimic the photo covers you’d see on young adult novels geared toward teen girls. But between the first issue cover’s bikini-clad models, the series’ presentational context in the somewhat gender-relationally skeevy world of mainstream comics versus shelves full of similarly designed YA books, and the interior art by good girl artists extraordinaire Terry and Rachel Dodson, the cover choice confused the issue, to say the least.
Basically, it was one of the last Marvel books from that era I ever expected to see collected. But with Millar’s Hollywood heat, it seems Trouble is bubbling up again — at least if the notoriously unreliable Amazon listings can be believed. Is it a mistake for me to let this get my hopes up for Macan/Kordey’s Soldier X run?