Written by Noelle Stevenson and Shannon Watters
Art by Brooke Allen and Maarta Laiho
Published by BOOM! Studios
Release Date: August 26, 2015
Let’s just say this issue captures some of the magic and the best things about Lumberjanes overall.
Our adventure in this issue begins with a lovely lighthearted flashback between Abigail and Rosie, instantly juxtaposed with a battle against a gigantic monster. Meanwhile, our crew of youngsters heads to uncover a way to help Abigail and Rosie, leading to some tension between Barney and Jo, and the revelation of Ripley’s uncanny ability to find secret doors and sparkly things. Before long, we reach a brief sense of resolution before Abigail leaves with a cryptic message, and Jo and April wonder what the heck is going on.
Yet again, this creative team has worked wonders to create the next chapter in their story. Stevenson and Watters work beautifully together, creating a sense of innocence and perspective for Abigail and Rosie, from holding hands to the concern they show for each other. Their writing does a great job of capturing the tension and stress of diffusing a conflict, but also how love and compassion can flow to the surface once things have boiled over.
Brooke Allen and Maarta Laiho are stellar on art, working together to bring to life the vision of a world that is playful and rustic. There’s something to be said for superb coloring working with illustration, and this duo is amazing at creating a sense of distinction between the characters but cohesion with their environment. The characters all stand out as their own, and I appreciate how the art brings out their life and independence.
This series has consistently done a great job representing a variety of people, and this issue is seriously a clincher. Not only do we get some more solid confirmation that Jo is a trans woman, but Barney could potentially be yet another queer character. To have a (relatively) slice-of-life comic treat queer people as normal, especially young queer people, is monumental. The creative team does an excellent job of conveying how people of all races, sizes, genders and orientations show up, illuminating exactly how expanding representation can be organic, subtle, and brilliantly powerful.
This issue points to the start of a new saga for the Lumberjanes. While Stevenson leaving is a bit heartbreaking, I know we will be in great hands with Watters staying at the helm and Kat Leyh joining in the fun.
The Verdict: 10/10