cover image The New York Five

The New York Five

Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly. DC/Vertigo, $14.99 trade paper (144p) ISBN 978-1-4012-3291-7

Four female college freshmen endure travails in love, family, and school in this sequel to 2008’s The New York Four. The book stands well on its own. The four leads fall into fairly stereotypical categories: Lona is the Asian high school overachiever; Merissa is the Latina man-magnet from Queens; Ren is the dreadlocked free spirit from the San Francisco Bay Area; and Riley is the privileged girl from Park Slope. Once the book begins, though, Wood (DMZ; Northlanders) gets under the young women’s surfaces to give them compelling individual stories. The fifth member of the New York five is, ostensibly, Olive, a homeless girl who hangs out on the stoop of the four’s East Village apartment building. However, her role within the group amounts to not much more than something to disrupt them from their focus on their own problems in finding grounding. Kelly (Demo; American Virgin) draws beautiful people beautifully and renders New York City with a level of detail that matches Wood’s obvious affection for the city, making The New York Four as much an idealization of Big Apple life as it is a skillful study of young women on the cusp of adulthood. (Sept.)