It’s the showdown between the Big Girls and the Jacks, but can they fight their way out when they are so outnumbered? Find out in Big Girls #5 from Image Comics!

BIG GIRLS #5

Writer: Jason Howard
Artist: Jason Howard
Letterer: Fonografiks
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 16, 2020

Previously in Big Girls: Apex and Ember come to blows. While Apex is concerned with killing the Jacks at all cost, Ember fears that by doing so without question, she is becoming a monster herself. In a flashback, we learn that Tannik and Joanna (Gulliver) were once married. Joanna was at the forefront in growing giant food plants to feed the Big Girls. It was also revealed that Ember was the very last one. Joanna gives birth to a son and experiments on him, hoping to prevent him from turning into a Jack. Instead, he turns early and Tannik kills him. In the present, Gulliver sends Martin into the last behemic, telling him she is trying to create a toxin to destroy the Big Girls, while she attacks the Preserve. Ember decides to quit her job, until she learns that she, Apex, and Devon are the only defenses the Preserve has.

WHO REALLY IS THE ENEMY?

High Marshal Tannik is at his command center at the start of Big Girls #5, watching the path of the approaching Jacks. It’s all up to the Girls now. One of his men alerts him to another problem, an alarm tripped in the behemic initiator.

Devon, Apex, and Ember stand at the ready as the Jacks move in. They are determined to hold off as many as they can. Gulliver is just as determined to “fix” society by destroying them. Ember spots her and recognizes her as the woman she knew as Joanna. Gulliver, in turn, has seen that Ember is willing to talk with the Jacks and tries to talk her into joining her. Gulliver also brings up the high cost of the privilege Tannik enjoys – he has not lived up to his promise to protect everyone. Then she insists that the Girls were never meant to be, and that it’s time for the Jacks to rule the world.

Devon spots Gulliver and strikes her down. The fight heats up until Ember remembers her first day, and Alan, the giant toddler who only wanted to play, who did not understand that his death was imminent. She recognizes the Jack she saved. She drops her weapon and goes to talk to him.

Meanwhile, Tannik goes to the behemic initiator where he finds Martin hooked up to the device. Tannik admits he knows Gulliver. Martin is convinced that Gulliver’s plan will fix everything. Martin remembers that’s Tannik killed his little boy; he doesn’t realize that Tannik lost his own son. Martin flees, and Tannik fires on him.

Ember steps up to the Jack she helped before and asks him to help them. He asks if she is going to kill him, and she says not. He agrees to help, and Devon and Apex feel that they have witnessed something remarkable. The Jack orders the other Jacks out of the city, back to wherever they came from. Devon and even Apex are impressed. Have things really changed? And then they see the explosion at the old behemic.

MAKING A CONNECTION

The opening in the command center of Big Girls #5 does a good job of setting up the situation and showing us the scale of the attack. To try to show a long distance shot of so many Jacks would be way too indistinct. Seeing the situation in the abstract lets us know what the Big Girls are facing, and then we can focus on them individually. Three against dozens, if not hundreds, is hardly a matched fight, no matter how skilled Apex, Devon, and Ember are. I love seeing their determination though.

As the story has progressed, we’ve learned more about the Jacks and in particular, we have seen what Ember has, namely, that is that the Jacks are individuals. In this issue, we can appreciate their differences. They may all be vaguely humanoid, hulking creatures, but they have different colorations and some even look like they have hair. They’re different enough that Ember has no difficulty recognizing the one she spoke to before. I love the moment when she dares to talk to it and ask it to help. It may look alien, but it can still make a very human connection.

BOTTOM LINE: TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN

Big Girls #5 sets up a sort of truce as the Jacks and the Girls try to communicate for a change, unlike their respective leaders. Tannik and Gulliver are diametrically opposed, yet still so like one another, which adds an interesting dimension to the conflict.


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Big Girls #5

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With a huge number of Jacks headed their way, how can the Big Girls head them off?

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By day, she’s a mild-mannered bureaucrat and Ms. Know-It-All. By night, she’s a dance teacher and RPG player (although admittedly not on the same nights). On the weekends, she may be found judging Magic, playing Guild Wars 2 (badly), or following other creative pursuits. Holy Lack of Copious Free Time, Batman! While she’s always wished she had teleportation as her superpower, she suspects that super-speed would be much more practical because then she’d have time to finish up those steampunk costumes she’s also working on.

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