Jacks continue to ravage the city around the Preserve. Are giant women the solution to this, or just more of the same problem? Find out in Big Girls #4 from Image Comics!
BIG GIRLS #4
Writer: Jason Howard
Artist: Jason Howard
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 18, 2020
Previously in Big Girls: We learned a little more about Ember’s background, growing up poor and hungry on a farm, especially since she was a Big Girl. Even at that young age, she is willing to share her food with a Jack. Her family accepts a bounty from High Marshal Tannik, and Ember is taken to the Preserve. She never sees her family again. Gulliver takes Martin to a behemic device. She needs him for his genetics – he carries the gene that leads to megaorganisms. Tannik and his forces attack them, and they have to flee. But there is one last behemic device in the area. Ember concentrates on fighting Jacks, until the day one of them asks for help. Maybe they aren’t monsters? But this puts her into direct conflict with Apex!
FROM ONE BATTLE TO ANOTHER
Big Girls #4 opens as Apex attacks Ember and the younger girl tries to explain herself. She gets through by expressing the fear that she is becoming a monster. She also has some thoughts, some memories of her childhood, how innocent she was despite her size. And now she realizes just what kind of consequences her actions may have.
We cut to some incidents eleven years in the past. Tannik is admiring Joanna’s success at using behemic science to grow plants, food plants big enough to feed big girls. But we also learn about a major problem. They haven’t been able to find many big girls. Joana’s bounty program has gotten them only one. Joanna is also pregnant and it is clear that Tannik is the father. A year later they have a young son. Joanna is sure he has the gene, but she wants to experiment on him hoping to prevent him from turning into a Jack. Long story short, he turns early and Tannik kills him.
Which brings us to Gulliver today. She brings Martin to the last behemic. She taps on what looks like a rock, and a Jack lifts them up to a pipe that leads into the structure. Gulliver needs him to go in to have the gene extracted to create a new toxic material which will kill the Big Girls. Then she gathers up a bunch of Jacks and heads to the Preserve.
Ember receives a dressing-down from Tannik. The Jack she let loose destroyed another chunk of city. She decides that this job is not for her and she quits. This is when she learns that she is the last new Big Girl. She, Apex, and Devon are the only ones there are. Feeling obligated to stay, she talks to Apex.
Gulliver attacks with her Jacks aiming to kill Apex and Ember. She also talks about the Jacks as though they – all of them – are her children. And she is their mother.
CHILDREN OR MONSTERS?
Big Girls #4 opens with Apex and Ember fighting. It may be a short conflict, but it is no holds barred. They’re standing off-shore where the deep water barely reaches their knees, but the waves they cause are as tempestuous as the fight. Apex has the advantage of experience and her muscular physique, but Ember still can hold her own. Still, it ends with neither of them feeling good about it.
Joanna is an interesting and complicated character. I like the links between her as she was in the past, and her currently as Gulliver. She has white hair and a couple other distinguishing features. But there is also a color connection. As Joanna, she often wore a red shirt or jacket. Now, as Gulliver, her outfit is white but she wears a red cape. The choice of a cape is interesting, as though she sees herself as not only the mother but also the leader of the Jacks. And they do respond to her. But how much do they understand? Are they, as Gulliver has said, mere children and are they following her out of trust? And is this trust misguided?
BOTTOM LINE: SAFETY IS AN ILLUSION
Big Girls #4 takes a basic premise and keeps twisting it and adding layer and dimension to make it incredibly intriguing. In a world jaded by the repeated attacks by Jacks, Ember is a ray of hope, but even she doesn’t completely understand what she is up against.
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Big Girls #4
Just as Ember doubts her ability to work with the Big Girls, she learns the devastating truth…