Oh jeez, let me tell you, this finale did not let me down one bit. This issue moves at such a great pace, always demanding that the reader turn the next page. We finally see the epic showdown between Apollo and Artemis, but in the end, it’s not really the two of them who matter, it’s still the Lumberjanes girls who are the focus, just as it should be. All the lessons they’ve been learning have all been building up to this.
I don’t want to spoil very much, this being the issue that wraps up all the mysteries that we’ve been building too for these first eight issues. It brings back the boy’s camp with their evil counselor, it brings back the anagrams, it brings back Rosie constantly messing up Jen’s name, it even brings back Ripley and Mal’s Fastball Special. And once again, Mal and Molly are super adorable together as they support each other with words of affirmation and smooches on the cheek. Because of that, I’m only going to touch on the actual plot of this issue a little bit. The rest will just be me gushing about how great this series is and how everyone should be reading it.
First, let’s tackle the writing. It’s so weirdly funny. This issue has easily my all-time favorite depiction of Zeus ever. There was a huge cliffhanger last month, with Jo being turned to stone, and the way they handle it is super amazing and super on brand. So is the way they end up saving the day (I don’t count that as a spoiler, because really, did you think things would end horribly in this comic?) Is this issue a little cheesy? Yeah, sure, but it’s the best kind of cheesy. Like, christmas sweaters, inside jokes during wedding speeches and giving puppies as presents cheesy.
And Brooke A. Allen was absolutely at the top of her game. I love everything she did in designing and drawing the stars and anagrams that cover the temple ceiling and floor. And I think the way she draws Ripley with so much dynamism, enthusiasm and rambunctiousness makes for one of my favorite portrayals of any character in recent comics. Like, the art is just so emotive and different from other comics and the colors just saturate the pages and the facial expressions are so wonderful and make the characters unique and easy to see what they’re thinking. But perhaps most importantly, the way Allen draws these characters makes you love them and worry about them. I’m basically in love with everything about this art.
At the end, Ripley once again shows just how awesome she is. Like seriously, she’s my hero. Also I love the way they’ve integrated Jen into the team. Early on, she was pretty much relegated to the role of overbearing, no-fun-having-or-allowing stick-in-the-mud camp counselor, but now, although she’s still very much the same person, she’s 100% on board with helping the girls go on their adventure and save the day. In fact, you could fairly say that it’s actually her that just straight up saves the day in a lot of very tangible ways.
Since this is the end of the first run, and what was initially going to be the end of the comic (thanks to Anne Bonney and Mary Read the book got picked up for a longer run), next month’s issue will be a special one. It’s written by Stevenson and Watters, and features a ton of guest artists, including Aimee Fleck, Becca Tobin (who is not the Glee actress, I’m pretty sure), Brittney Williams, Carolyn Nowak, Faith Erin Hicks, Felicia Choo and T. Zysk. You guys, that is such a great group of guest artists, I can’t wait!
So now, it’s two days till Thanksgiving and I am thankful for Shannon Watters, for Noelle Stevenson, for Grace Ellis, for Brooke A. Allen and for Boom! Box Studios. Seriously, I’m tearing up right now writing this, trying not to full on cry because there are other people in the room and I don’t want to have to explain that I’m crying about how much I love an all-ages comic right now. Lumberjanes has been and is such a wonderful, hilarious, fun, clever, pulse-pounding, empowering and uplifiting book. I’ve been reading comics for fifteen years and I can honestly say that Lumberjanes is my favorite all-ages comic that I’ve ever read. But I’m not only thankful because of how wonderful the book is, I’m thankful because they’ve put out this book that young girls are going to read and see a whole new world opening up to them. They’re going to see all these awesome girls who lift up their fellow girls and value female friendship. They’re going to see all these girls who use their different real-world talents, from knowledge of astronomy, to skills with anagrams, to archery to being brave, to save the entire world. Just think about all the awesome feminist icons girls will learn about, think about the stereotypes they’ll see being broken, think about how such a diverse group of real-life girls will be able to see themselves reflected in the media, think about how this book will probably be the root for a whole new generation of queer girls. How freaking awesome is that? Seriously you guys, Lumberjanes to the max!
New Releases (11/26)
Betty and Veronica Friends Comics Digest #241 (Archie Comics)
Bee and Puppycat #6 (Boom!)
Steven Universe #4 (Boom!)
Tomb Raider #10 (Dark Horse)
Batwoman Vol. 5 Webs (DC)
Catwoman #36 (DC)
Red Sonja: The Black Tower #3 (Dynamite)
X-Files Year Zero #5 (IDW)
Ody-C #1 (Image)
Painkiller Jane: The 22 Brides TPB (Marvel)
Welcome to Drawn to Comics! From diary comics to superheroes, from webcomics to graphic novels – this is where we’ll be taking a look at comics by, featuring and for queer ladies. So whether you love to look at detailed personal accounts of other people’s lives, explore new and creative worlds, or you just love to see hot ladies in spandex, we’ve got something for you.
If you have a comic that you’d like to see me review, you can email me at mey [at] autostraddle [dot] com.
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