This issue picks up after Kim was suspended from her job as Grim Reaper in the previous installment. Now, she is adorably helping Becka work in the bakery. Things quickly take a turn though when a zombie shambles up to the counter. After they realize it is a full on zombie invasion, they labeled the situation an emergency and hatch a plan to enter the underworld to alert the other reapers because Kim can’t do anything herself without her scythe. This issue is highly representative of the series itself: supernatural and super queer. If you have been curious about the series, this issue will give you a good taste of what to expect. While not the most unique, this issue kept a smile on my face the whole time.
Impressively, Sarah Graley continues to write, illustrate, and color the series and this really shows as every element feels like a natural extension of everything around it. For example, the lighter/brighter shojo aesthetics (hearts and stars everywhere when the girls fawn over one another) perfectly support the lighter/brighter role-playing aesthetics that pop up during a battle (+4 defense for Becka’s oven gloves). This results in a very authentic feeling world where zombies or anything else she might add would feel like they belonged. Like many, I really enjoy the combination of cute cartoony pastel and creepy goth that is becoming increasingly common. I don’t see anything that she really hecked up.
This issue’s venture into the underworld is a fantastic addition to the series. It is so fun to see the sheer glee in Becka’s eyes as she holds hands with her girlfriend in hell and celebrates how powerful her “noodle arms” are. It is also sweet to see Kim confess that she fears going before the board again more than the zombie situation. Seeing Becka support and empower Kim was a very nice moment. Also, it makes sense. A common metaphor is that zombies represent the thoughtless masses, which are scary when in a mob, but can be taken out quite easily by getting some new material into their minds; whereas, the board of the undead not only have power but intelligence as well. That is indeed the scarier group out of the two. Despite the zombie fad getting quite tired at this point, it is a logical extension of the storyline. It mostly works.
The main issue is that, while there is nothing wrong with anything that Graley is doing, it doesn’t strike me as all that different from a lot of stuff out there already. That said, the issue is smart, fun, and cute. It is especially nice to see the relationship between the girls being explicitly developed instead of subtextually. I am not going to spoil anything, but, if you ship the couple at all, don’t miss out on this issue. Overall, there is a lot of potential here and the series is well worth keeping an eye on. Four stars!
Writer / Artist: Sarah Graley
Publisher: Oni Press