The-New-York-Five-1-CoverWith the cancellation of the awesome girl centric Minx imprint of DC comics, readers might have always wondered what happened to the ladies of The New York Four, a pitch perfect story by Brian Wood with art by Ryan Kelly that spotlighted four girls in New York City. They were new to NYU, new to each other, and new to the experiences of growing into adults in the most exciting city in the world. Fortunately for us, Vertigo, another imprint of DC, has given us the sequel to The New York Four, and we get a +1! Introducing The New York Five – a great story of girls, change, New York City, music, and more! Reading The New York Four isn’t totally necessary to understand its great sequel, but why would you not want to experience the genius that is the mash up of Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly?

All the original girls are back. Lona – Canadian, photographer, can’t quite get a handle on being an adult. She needs to learn that her professors aren’t Mommy & Daddy; she needs to learn how to do things herself. Merissa – a tough girl from Queens who will let you know when you are being a jerk, but still give you a hug right back. However, with family troubles back in Queens, will Merissa be able to stay in the City with her friends? Ren – Bay Area native, and only attracted to older men. But, this time, the older man might the worst thing for her and her future. Riley – totally addicted to her phone and away from her parents for the first time. Unfortunately, she picks the wrong guy, too…and it just happens to be the boyfriend of her older sister! Angie – Riley’s older sister and one cool chick. She plays bass in a band, and totally chose her boyfriend over Riley! Can the two sisters realize that bad boyfriend Frank is bad for both of them? And, finally, there’s Olive – the girl that made the four into five. She’s homeless and hangs out on the front stoop of the girls apartment, but there’s trouble brewing under her usually sunny disposition, and the girls will find out too soon what’s lying underneath.

This awesome story of friendship, change, and redemption is another great offering from the super team of Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly. They’ve written and illustrated such great stories as Local, DMZ, and, thankfully, the story of The New York Five. Their styles fit so seamlessly together, pictures complementing words and vice versa, it’s hard to imagine they ever work with other people. Brian’s story is engaging; each girl personality is fully fleshed out, and readers will identify with characteristics from all of them. He does a good job at making them seem like every other girl that you know – with her own problems, solutions, struggles, and joys. Ryan’s illustrations are beautiful black and white drawings that show every aspect of the Brownstones as well as the minute expressions on people’s faces that flit by in an instant. Characters really come to life from Ryan’s pen, and Brian’s story only makes them more real. Older teens will appreciate and love this story of five girls just trying to get it right in the big city.

The New York Five
by Brian Wood
Art by Ryan Kelly
ISBN: 9781401232917
Vertigo, 2011

  • Traci

    | She/Her

    Traci has been a graphic novel selector and collections coordinator for kids and teens in libraries in Arizona and Oregon since 2005. She served as the chair of YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee, and served as a member of the Great Graphic Novels for Teens blogging team. She previously coordinated the Oregon Young Adult Network’s Graphic Rave list, OYAN’s yearly list of the best graphic reads for teens. Traci is a member of ALA, YALSA, and GNCRT. And, she achieved her greatest dream ever by serving as a judge for the 2019 Eisner Awards.

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