Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
All this month I’ll be reviewing different comic books by African-American creators, based on submissions from the actual creators of the comic books themselves. A quick note – since this month is so relatively short, I’ll be featuring an extra comic every week, for a total of 32 comics spotlighted! Here is a list of all the comics spotlighted so far!
In this installment we take a look at Theodicy #1 by Chad Handley, Fernando Brazuna, Ryan Boltz and Minan Ghibliest…
Theodicy takes place in an alternate future where the government has collapsed and things are pretty damn chaotic. A big force in the world are entities that lend “credit” and when the people they loan money to inevitably default on their credit, boom – instant slaves. In the first issue, we are introduced to the status quo via a long-suffering priest named Father John who is trying to save one of his parishioners from her creditors…
It is a rough world for John’s parish, which is less like a church parish and more like a disheveled camp during a war. As bad as things are for John, they might get worse when a young mute African-American boy begins to show signs of being able to heal people around him. This is a world where science and mutations are causing all sorts of supernatural occurrences, so what, then IS a miracle in a world like this? However, whatever this boy is, you will be darned sure that there will be some evil folks who will want to take advantage of him and his abilities. Father John must then do his best to protect this boy.
On the other side of the coin, while Father John is a disenchanted Catholic priest, Paul Yang is an angry atheist who decides to finally try to come to peace with his hatred of religion. In doing so, though, he discovers something that he cannot explain and must question his whole belief system.
Brazuna and Boltz bring us right into this universe with solid artwork that really brings forward the pain and suffering of this world. Ghibliest’s colors work well with the story. And Handley takes a very thoughtful approach to the very complex issue of religion in this fascinating first issue (which also does a good job of introducing two compelling lead characters and an excellent bad guy in the credit collectors).
Check their website here to see how you can buy a copy of #1.
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