Review: Big Girls #4
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer, Artist, Colorist: Jason Howard
Reviewer: Tony Farina
GIRL FIGHT! Then we discover why High Marshall Tannik is such a bad guy. Or is he?! Also, mistakes have consequences-Ember’s, Gulliver’s, Martin’s…even yours!”
Big Girls #4 twists and turns and twists back. Howard’s strength beyond his amazing art skills or writing skills is his knack for creating characters whom we love. Somehow, he makes me care so much for the Jacks, the supposed “villains” in this universe. They are tragic victims. Howard teased us with this last month, but he showed us even more. I know there are spoilers in this review, but you should really just read this for yourself. Seriously. It is so good.
Ember, our hero, is so heartbreakingly good that we want to give her a hug even though we know she wouldn’t even feel our tiny hands on her giant shin as we tried to hug her tight. She is being manipulated and torn apart. The commentary about peer pressure and how pressure from authorities can completely warp the way a young woman sees herself is front and center in this issue. Sure, we see some excellent world building, but we really care about who Ember is, why she is and what she is going to do. She is lonely and confused. The power that she holds is immeasurable, yet she can’t quite figure out how to use it. Isn’t that way for women and girls all the time? I am struck by the use of the word “hunger” in this issue and the imagery he used in the last issue. There is a literal and figurative hunger at the center of Ember. This series seems to be all about her quest to satiate it.
Big Girls #4 is relentless (in a good way). The pacing is perfect. I have no problems with anything I am seeing here and nor will you. Unless you hate things that are good.
Big Girls #4 continues to build the world. It is a testament to Howard’s skills that we never feel spoon fed or overly expositioned to death. He balances out present tense and flashbacks perfectly. There are so many twists and turns here that I never know what is coming next. It has been a while since I was totally surprised so I am pleasantly surprised.