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Girls #21

A comic review article by: Jason Sacks
As the story of the alien takeover of little Pennystown reaches its climax, the true iniquity of the town becomes even more apparent. In this issue, marriages become even more split apart as men are seduced by sex and women by violence.

It's hard to review one specific issue of a series that is coming close to a conclusion, especially one that's been so consistent from issue to issue. Instead I wanted to take a moment to praise the Luna Brothers' work. This is a series that easily could have become stuck repeating itself after its first few issues. After all, the main themes of the story have essentially been repeated since the very first issues. The men of Pennystown are weak in the face of the naked, young-looking, seductive alien girls. Meanwhile, the women are forced to take up arms and really defend the town. But the Luna Brothers do a nice job throughout the series of playing with variations of the theme that help grow the core story of the comic. Each man faces his own weakness in his own way, and the different reaction of each man is an interesting thing to see. Meanwhile, the reactions of the women are more unique to each one of them. Some take up the most extreme violence in an attempt to stop the alien invasion. One woman barricades herself in her house and refuses to engage with anyone else. And other women are more like followers, too shellshocked to know what they should do.

Meanwhile the alien threat keeps growing and seems harder and harder to stop. As the people of the town get more adjusted to their roles, the aliens just keep reproducing and seducing. We readers will have no idea what the ultimate threat is, or why this small town in the middle of nowhere was selected as the target for the invasion. This fact does two things. First, it makes the invasion seem scarier because there is a great mystery behind it. The aliens don’t communicate at all, so nobody has the slightest clue why they’re doing what they’re doing. The complete lack of knowledge makes the town feel even more isolated: if there was some sense of why things were happening as they were, the town might have some clue as to how to stop things.

Second, the selection of Pennystown allows the Luna Brothers to apply their David Lynch-like satirical eyes to the story. At first Pennystown seems like a perfect Norman Rockwell town, but, just as in Lynch’s work, below the surface is a seething mess of insanity as dysfunctional as anything one might find in a big city.

The Luna Brothers’ artwork is a good fit for this series as well. Their fairly flat style heightens the horror by emphasizing the strangeness of the town’s situation. If they had used a more splashy style, the story might not have had the intensity that it has.

There are only three issues left of Girls. At this point I can’t wait to see what happens by the end of the series. Will the truth really come out, or will the series end as mysteriously as it began?

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