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Young Liars #9

Posted: Thursday, November 13, 2008
By: Matthew McLean

David Lapham
David Lapham, Lee Loughridge (c)
Vertigo / DC
While Young Liars has been a surprising and twisted ride with every issue, in issue #9 it seems to have gone completely off the rails. After the ending of the last issue, readers seemed to have been given confirmation that Sadie's spider hallucinations weren't just a byproduct of her brain injury, but something based in reality. However, this issue drags the whole mess back into confusion, not the least of which due to the storytelling.

For starters, the reader is instantly brought back to New York from the European location of last issue. There's a quick flashback that resolves Sadie's apparent death ad then, slam, back to New York and, seemingly, the beginning of the series, with Sadie on the dance floor, punching and kicking whoever gets in her way. Annie X's resignation letter to the alien spider space command isn't even touched on and it seems that Danny was able to plug in to Sadie's hallucinatory dreams. Much of this issue is laced with narrative dialogue of him relating and interpreting the dreams in ways that are incongruous with this issue's narrative pictures and flow. Confusing, ja?

Given Lapham's ability to pull together seemingly random and disparate story elements, this reviewer is willing to believe that this is all going somewhere, possibly somewhere great. However, this issue comes off as a mish-mash designed to clutter the progress made thus far. In that it succeeds as again this reviewer has no idea what's going on.

That's not to say the book is without redeeming value. The book has several moments of Lapham's ridiculous, often weird, and often outrageous humor. A midget spelunking a man's colon and a psychotically violent punk rocker crying his eyes out over a mother/daughter reunion being two such examples.

So if you've been along for the side so far, pick up this issue in the hopes that it'll be an essential piece to the Young Liars puzzle. If you haven't, in the name of all that's holy, don't start here. It'll either make you hate the book and (incorrectly) think Lapham is an idiot, or give you the impulse to clean your brain with a spatula (possibly looking for spiders). Go back to the beginning, which I can't recommend enough.



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