Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Review - She Could Fly #1 (@DarkHorseComics)


"I saw it. With my own eyes."

The reaction to superpowers typically runs the gamut from shock to wonder. In She Could Fly #1 from Dark Horse Comics, Luna's response is a little more obsessive. The issue is written by Christopher Cantwell, illustrated by Martin Morazzo and colored by Miroslav Mrva.

In Chicago, an unknown woman appears flying at speeds of 120 miles per hour and at heights reaching 2,000 feet. Then she suddenly dies in a fiery explosion mid-air. No one knows who she was, how she flew, or why. Luna, a disturbed 15-year-old girl becomes obsessed with learning everything about her while rumors and conspiracy theories roil. Will cracking the secrets of the Flying Woman's inner life lead to the liberation from her own troubled mind?

The story is told more or less through Luna's perspective and Cantwell moves back and forth between what Luna sees and what Luna thinks, the latter of which is often ends in dramatic violence. In fact, Luna exhibits symptoms of possibly schizophrenia primarily through homicidal ideations which makes her daily routine extremely difficult, but she finds comfort in tracking the flying girl. Much of the dialogue throughout the book is stream of conscious thought from Luna that Cantwell uses to guide the reader to the issue's conclusion that sets up the larger plot (which still feels a little vague by the end of the issue with the inclusion of the physicist). Cantwell does a marvelous job by giving the reader a lived-in world in She Could Fly #1 by essentially moving Luna through a realistic setting where the flying girl is more of a fascination than an obsession. Luna feels that she's the cause of all good and bad in the world, a fearful mentality that's unfortunately all too common in the world today and one that Cantwell leverages beautifully to serve as the heart of the issue.

Morazzo's artwork feels a little fuzzy--in a good way. Luna always looks dejected as Morazzo captures her sense of despair exceptionally well and uses that emotion to reinforce the tone of the book. The panel layout is a simple grid, but Morazzo uses it for complexity in that it allows for great back-and-forths between characters, as well as quick evolutions of Luna's thoughts as they unfold from bad to worse. Luna's violent thoughts are illustrated with just enough gore that they feel a little jarring when they appear (intentionally so). Mrva's colors are varied and help to liven up each and every setting as the story moves along.

She Could Fly #1 is a book where the title of the series belies the content within. Sure, the series is about a girl who can fly, but it's also about so much more than that. Cantwell has penned a script that's a fascinating look inside the mind of a troubled individual who is well-constructed and a sensational point of view. Morazzo's artwork is loose, but appropriate in telling Luna's story. She Could Fly #1 is a strong first issue that builds on a well-thought out character amidst a seemingly impossible scenario that captures the imagination of the entire town of Chicago.

She Could Fly #1 is available July 11.

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