ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Big Girls,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Big Girls #1
Big Girls #1 is published by Image Comics, writing, art and lettering by Jason Howard. In the future a science experiment gone wrong unleashes the danger of megaorganisms upon the world. These monsters mutate from men born with a condition that causes them to grow to titanic proportions and change into a monstrous visage. But humanity has a hope. The Big Girls. When a girl is born with the condition they too grow to skyscraper level heights, but keep their humanity and form intact. And so, become humanity’s bulwark against an unending storm.

Some concepts and themes become classics for a reason. They work. However, if you are going to explore classic themes and archetypes you have to do them right. Because we have all seen them before. We’ve seen them done well, and seen them done badly many times. There’s nothing wrong with classics, as along as you can deliver on them.

The single great threat to humanity in Big Girls #1 is megaorganisms. Males who are born with a condition that turns them into skyscraper sized engines of destruction. How this situation came to be is shrouded in mystery as all those involved in the research that brought the megaorganisms into being died in the worlds first encounter with the creatures. And due to a near pathological fear of what experimentation might bring about, no one has continued research into the creatures. However, if a girl is born with the condition that causes a boy to turn into one of these monsters, the girl will gain only the size. The rest of her remains indistinguishable from any other person. This leads these rare women to be the last line of defense against monster attacks. The first line however, is something all together different.

There is an old saying about an once of prevention being worth a pound of cure. The ounce of prevention humanity has turned to takes the form of High Marshal James Tannik. Marshal Tannik searches out people who may be harboring young males who present signs that they will turn into megaorganisms. When discovered, these situations are resolved swiftly, and brutally. Whether or not the actions taken by Tannik are truly necessary can be questioned, especially since working to try to discover a cure for the condition is forbidden, but one way or the other Tannik comes across as a cold blooded killer. He has no sympathy or remorse for his actions. He is the classic military robot in the form of a man. A direct counter point to our other window into the world of Big Girls #1, Ember.

Big Girls #1

Ember is one of the Big Girls. She protects humanity from outside attack as well as assisting in investigations into those harboring future megaorganisms. Ember sees herself as one of the heroes. And she certainly fits the part. Caring and brave she will gladly face the threats that could tear humanity apart head on. But when she assists Tannik in an arrest things take a turn she isn’t ready for. This event shakes her deeply and leaves her more than a bit rattled. However, before she can delve too deeply into what this moment means to her future a megaorganism is spotted approaching her city. And swiftly, she moves to intercept.

While the particulars of Big Girls #1 scenario are admittedly unique, its themes feel tired and cliche. While none of it’s story elements are particularly bad, they are so forced and obvious that I left the story feeling like I had far too concrete of an idea of exactly where this story will go. And while I could certainly be wrong, the fact that I feel like I’m not greatly hurts my drive to continue experiencing it’s tale. And unfortunately the story isn’t the only element of the book I found lacking.

Much like it’s story, Big Girls #1’s art suffers from a lack of polish. The line work here is incredibly rough, giving the art a rushed feeling to it. There also feels like there is a lot of unnecessary lines in a lot of the images. These lines often don’t seem to serve any purpose and further muddies the images.

The coloring here is respectable. A bit more shading in some places would’ve helped give the images a bit more depth, but all in all a solid performance.

The same acceptable quality level goes for the lettering as well. While nothing is wrong with the letter work here, nothing about it really stands out either.

When all is said and done i found Big Girls #1 to be wanting in numerous ways. It themes felt heavy handed and it’s art did nothing for me. While there are aspects of this book land reasonably well, they are far too little to overcome the books larger shortcomings.

Big Girls #1 is available August 12th wherever comics are sold.

 

Big Girls #1
2

TL;DR

When all is said and done i found Big Girls #1 to be wanting in numerous ways. It themes felt heavy handed and it’s art did nothing for me. While there are aspects of this book land reasonably well, they are far too little to overcome the books larger shortcomings