Written by: Jeremy Whitley
Art by: Gurihiru and VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 30, 2019
After last issue’s crazy cliffhanger (and really, the whole issue was pretty crazy), I grabbed this one just to see how all the gals were doing. There were bruises, broken bones and even a clone conspiracy (lol) going on here, but this issue actually was a bit more than that and little did I know how personal it was going to be.
The issue opens with the girls arriving at the hospital and from the beginning, all eyes are on Priya. Before getting into what is really going on with her in the big picture, she was poisoned and at the start of this issue, I wasn’t even sure she’d make it. Again, the mystery of what’s going on with her for real is still there, but this issue is about the team dealing with their recent defeat by A.I.M.
Jeremy Whitley does a good job here showing how the gals deal with what’s going on in their own way and at the beginning, it’s mostly through Janet. She obviously feels guilty about what went down and is ignoring her own well being as if admitting she is also hurt would be overly selfish of her. She finally gets looked at and gets some much-needed sleep.
Then there is Nadia. At first, Whitley seems to ignore her a bit. With all the hubbub going on, she is quiet and slips away unnoticed. When she goes back to PYM Labs, we see the reality. Now, I went into this issue spoiler free and had no idea what it was going to be about. With that, I give Jeremy Whitley huge props for dealing with something very personal for me and in a way that was not forced or pushed for accolades. You see, Nadia suffers from Bipolar Disorder.
A quick side-note…my wife suffers from Bipolar Disorder as well and 24 years of marriage has made me very keen to the signs of an episode, but unfortunately, that experience has not made me the magic cure to stop one for my wife. That was the biggest thing reading this issue…before it was spelled out at all, I knew that Nadia was having a manic episode and I felt the helplessness and fear that a lot of times goes with it. Mind you, I have learned how to help way more than I did years ago, so seeing the teams trying to help and knowing that it was only making it worse was again, heartbreaking. I can’t tell you how many times I just told my wife to “get some rest” as if she just hadn’t ever thought of doing that!!! Now that is all the very selfish bits that went through my mind. Then there is the heartbreak of knowing what Nadia is going through and what’s to come.
This was a tough issue to get through for me, but one that I am glad I read. In a comic book world where there are other books that claim they are about mental health while the bodies stack up, this was a low-key, very realistic look at someone with Bipolar Disorder that just happens to be a superhero as well. I am never one to say that everyone needs to read something and I am not even sure that readers without any experience with the disorder will even dig it, but it hit me right in the heart and after reading it, I went downstairs and hugged my wife and started crying which really did confuse the hell out of her! I thank you for that, Jeremy!!!
I simply adore Gurihiru’s art. It makes me smile and it’s like a feel-good Saturday morning cartoon on the page. They still have those, right??? Well, they should!
I loved this issue for very personal reasons. While that may not translate to everyone, it is a realistic and unflattering look at mental disorder. The fact that Jeremy Whitley did it with little to no hype and (from the special thanks) research to boot, really made it feel genuine and thus very unique in this day and age. Plus, Gurihiru’s art made me smile through the tears!