24 issues, Written and Illustrated by Jonathan and Joshua Luna, Image Comics
In the 1970s there was a renaissance period for both horror and science fiction. Of course there was still schlock being made but there was also a lot of thought provoking speculative fiction presented to the movie going public. These films used the facade of the fantastic to talk about modern day issues and challenges. Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell To Earth looked at how fame corrupts once noble endeavors. Mad Max dealt with the fears of lawlessness. A Clockwork Orange chose to examine the ways in which society seeks to erase the individual by examining the most despicable element. A film adaptation of Girls would follow in the footsteps of these films as a picture looking at relevant social issues in a fresh inventive way and it would haunt the audience for a long time after.
In the fictional locale of Pennystown, USA the young Ethan Daniels is tossed out on ass after getting drunk and causing trouble at the local bar. Stumbling his way home, Daniels comes across a naked young woman who appears to not be able to speak. In his alcoholic haze he brings her to his house where he tries to get her to talk, instead she forces herself on him and they have sex. In the morning, Daniels gets the authorities but when they return to his home they find she has laid several eggs that hatch into full grown duplicates of herself. These strange women wander the town, killing any woman they come in contact and attempting to mate with any male. The townspeople attempt to leave Pennystown but find it surrounded by an opaque white dome that has cut off their communication with the outside world. In addition there is what appears to be a giant sperm in a field outside town. Tensions build as the women begin to see the men as weak and pathetic, as many of them succumb to the strange women, only exacerbating the problem and creating more of the savage creatures.
In a country where we hear permissive sex being blamed for all society’s ills, the Luna Brothers examine that idea more closely by sequestering these townspeople and discovering how they behave when sex becomes weaponized. While the actual science fiction elements don’t have a tight wrap up (things are left fairly ambiguous) , the story is a springboard for fascinating character interaction. The townspeople are variety of races, ages, and sexualities. One character is revealed as being gay in a rather gruesome way. This is comparable to films like Lifeboat or Cube, where you have people thrown into a pressure cooker and we sit back and watch how all the tension and building violence plays out.
The look of the comic is so crisp, clean, and symmetrical I was reminded of the way Kubrick would frame a shot. That in mind someone like a Paul Thomas Anderson would be already adept to film this. Even more than that, I see Duncan Jones, who brought us the minimalist science fiction masterpiece Moon being tailor made for a project like Girls. With Moon he showed us that the climax we expect for a film is not necessarily the one that is appropriate for the story. Throw in Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Ethan Daniels and think you would have a very fascinating film on your hands. In many ways it would be the opposite of Pandorum, released in 2009, where a awesome sci-fi premise was abandoned in favor of thoughtless action. So while we wait for Hollywood to greenlight a Girls film, do yourself a favor and pick up the collected volumes.