Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Martin Morazzo
Colors: Miroslav Mrva
Lettering: Clem Robins
Cover: Martin Morazzo
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books
This is one of those books that I feel you have to sit with for a while after reading it. I did that, and now I am writing about this first issue, and it is still having quite an impact on me. Very rarely does a creative work approach and address mental illness in a meaningful way. In the comic book medium, that is even more of an oddity, as the subject is almost never broached without being degrading, emphasizing and furthering misunderstandings, or simply not being empathetic. Therefore, when I read the description of this comic, I immediately grew wary and was actually prepared to say the exact opposite of what I’m about to say in this review. But, then I read the book.
She Could Fly is a masterfully written first issue. What seems to be a straightforward story at first, is actually a complex look at an individual’s state of mind, mental health as a whole institution, and society in a larger sense. All of this in 32 pages of expressive panels, plus a mystery in the skies, and original perspectives to boot.
Fifteen-year-old Luna was immediately relatable on so many levels. Her introduction was simple, but extremely appropriate, as she has an awkward interaction with her school guidance counselor. Even though she wasn’t in every single scene of this issue, I feel like I know her very well after reading it. Few pieces of literature do such a great job of character development and description in such a short amount of pages. I’m also intrigued by Bill Miegs of Canada, though I wasn’t quite sure what his particular scenes were supposed to be about, yet. If there is anything to be critical about this book, it would be that Bill Miegs’ story seems more of an afterthought for now, instead of a well-planned side plot. It could also just be that Luna steals the show, so I wasn’t paying close attention to the people and settings outside of Chicago. I understand that it’s mysterious and will tie into the larger plot later, so I will be waiting for that time.
The art couldn’t be better. It’s vibrant in a soft way, if that makes sense. The style is precise and very purposeful, which works so well with the story that is being told, and the colors have this sense of realism while still being bold and blocked out, as is true to comics. I would love to know the story behind the creative team and how they got together because all of their talents mesh marvelously.
There is so much to explore within the pages of She Could Fly, and I am just wondering how it can all be done in four issues, but I am one reader who will be sticking around to find out.