"Boy Loses Girl"
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Pencils: Pia Guerra
Inks: Jose Marzan, Jr.
Letters: Clem Robins
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
$2.99 U.S. / $4.00 CAN
This issue centres around Beth, as we see Yorick's girlfriend is an unwilling participant in an drug induced voyage into Aboriginal dreamtime. In addition to seeing how Yorick and Beth first met, and getting a nice look at several moments that manage to sell the idea that they were a pretty happy couple, we see that Beth also comes to learn some very important information about Yorick's current state.
This issue does exactly what it needed to, and Brian K. Vaughan deserves all the credit in the world for doing such an effective job of building up Beth into a character that readers will want to see Yorick end up with. I mean the character of Beth has always been little better than the plot device that kept Yorick from jumping into bed with every female character that expressed an interest in him, and given Yorick would quickly have lost his loveable loser quality if he hadn't been keeping it in his pants, I guess Beth's influence on his behaviour has played a vital role in this book's success. However, with this issue Brian K. Vaughan has done a masterful job of selling readers on the idea that Beth is the ideal girlfriend for Yorick, as not only is she willing to accept his more geeky qualities, but the two share the same sense of humour, as how can one not love the rooftop scene. However, more importantly Brian K. Vaughan is also smart enough to include moments where we see the relationship isn't perfect, as there's a lovely little bit of interaction where we see Hero and Beth share a moment together, and we see Hero is willing to offer up a less than charitable opinion of her brother. The opening scene between Yorick and Beth also has a nice clumsy quality about it as if there's one thing that will turn me off a writer's attempt to sell me on a relationship, it's that they forget to play with the idea that these first meetings should be full of awkward moments, like Beth's failure to recognize Yorick. I also loved Beth's reaction to Yorick's anti-French rant, and Yorick response to her question about whether he's ever been dumped is a perfect character moment. I also have to say I rather enjoyed the down to earth quality of the conversation between the two aboriginal women, as it's great to see the scene didn't get caught up in the whole mysticism element of dreamtime. In fact the only quibble that I'd make about this issue is that the whole super-hero dream didn't quite fit into what we know about Yorick, as I'd much rather the book had played up the escape artist element, rather than pandering to the super-hero crowd.
Pia Guerra returns to the book and turns in a very impressive reminder of what she brings to the book, as this issue is a very solid showcase of how to sell the key emotions of a scene by simply using a character's facial expressions. I mean there's a lovely little moment in this scene where we see Yorick is trying to act like he knows what it feels like to be dumped, and there's a great little moment where we see Yorick's stupid fanboy reaction to Beth's Halloween costume. There's also an impressive transition where we see a winter time scene fades into the Australian outback, and I also rather enjoyed how the more fantastic elements of the book intruded upon the story, though I guess a large part of the credit for this later element goes to Zylonol which adopts the old fashioned coloring style. There's also a couple nice nightmarish images in this issue from the attention grabbing panel of Yorick's death, to the stunning cover image that does an amazing job of playing up the idea that Beth is not in a very pleasant place.
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