Review: Tomboy #8

By Dustin Cabeal

I hate to say this, but this isn’t as strong of an issue as the previous one. There’s still a lot of good elements to this issue. Elements that overall I really enjoyed, but my gut tells me that a lot is missing from this issue. That it feels off compared to the other issues and I don’t know if that’s intentional or that the series needed to breathe after soaring so high for so long. I’ll tell you right now, as I’m typing this, I’m not sure what score I’ll settle on by the time I’m done. The issue picks up a short time later from the previous issue. Our newly introduced detective is still a bad ass, and her interrogation of Trent is pretty damn good. The way she tip-toes around the accusation she wants to make is impressive and believable.

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Review: Tomboy #7

I feel like an ass. I actually got this issue right after the sixth because Mia Goodwin was kind enough to share it with me. Then life exploded as it likes to do and I forgot I had the issue. Oh, the shame. One thought kept popping in my head as I read this issue and that was, “Stop it.” Stop being so damn good. Show some faults, give me something anything to demonstrate that it’s not this damn easy to make a great comic. I read many comics so I know it’s not that easy, and yet Mia Goodwin and Michelle Wong do just that. They make comics look easy because they technically should be, but actually it comes from their talent and skills.

This issue. Oh, this fucking issue. The cat is out of the bag. We now know that the supernatural element is real, but somehow that only opens the door for more questions. In the ending to the last issue, well… you know. It’s on the cover so it’s not like you cannot figure it out. Jessica was killed, by Addison. Take a deep breath and let the soak in because it changes Addison’s character. Until then she had only killed guilty people, but now she has an innocent on her hands.

The pacing for this issue is by far the best of the series. I cannot even adequately describe how perfect it is. From the cop procedural aspect to the news feed narration. It is spectacular. It’s so good that I want to spoil everything and at the same time, I don’t. What to do, what to do.

Tomboy 7Jessica’s death was the only one in the last issue which brings a new element to the story as a new detective makes an appearance and she is hard-nosed and doesn’t like Trent. The fire that Addison set has set the story on another path to play out in a way that now throws Ms. Trent into the spotlight of the murders even though she had nothing to do with them. It also attracted the attention of the Nurse and a reveal that she’s got some dark magic on her side as well.

The final sequence in Addison’s room is disturbing, creative, and chilling all at once. Who are the fairies that have been talking to her and directing her? What is their goal and how will this new one effect Addison? Even though there’s a finite ending to this story planned, there are so many new questions to be answered. I doubt that all of them will be answered and that’s okay. This story and the world have so many layers that it’s impossible to cover it all in a way that would do it justice. That and leaving it open for more is also completely fine by me.

Michelle Wong’s art continues to be the best and only suitable replacement to Goodwin’s artwork. The opening pages look and feel like the opening to a police procedural TV drama, but without the boredom. It’s exciting because we already know what happened, and we’re waiting for them to catch up. In that way, the story and art make us patiently hold on, but then once it is revealed its sprints to the end. This is probably the fastest I have ever read an issue of Tomboy. Going back to the closing sequence, it is all carried by the artwork. Goodwin gives the narration and dialog a rest and lets Wong’s artwork do all the talking. Again, it’s chilling. It is by far one of the creepiest aspects of the series thus far and amazing to look at.

Comics should be this good and no I do not actually want Goodwin and Wong to “stop it.” If anything I want them to never stop because I have adored this book so much. As a reader, as a reviewer, and as someone that just enjoys the hell out of a great story. Tomboy and others of its ilk are the reason I will never give up on comic books because, outside of novels, you will never get this pure storytelling. At the end of the day, that is why I read comics, for the stories. To see what someone else created and to enjoy it, to love it, to wish I had done it first, but knowing it had to come from someone else to enjoy it. It is inspiring; it is the reason we all read comics.

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Tomboy #7 Writer: Mia Goodwin Artist: Michelle Wong Publisher: Action Lab/Danger Zone Price: $3.99 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital