Written By: Joe Henderson
Artist: Lee Garbett
Lettering by: Simon Bowland
Colouring by: Antonio Fabela
Cover Art: Lee Garbett
Published By: Image Comics
In a future where the world inexplicably loses a large chunk of its’ gravitational pull, Skyward follows Willa as she navigates life as a delivery girl. Skyward #1 shows us ‘G-Day’, twenty years ago, and shows us a Willa frustrated with a life without exploration and new experiences. The issue ends with Willa’s father claiming he knows how to fix the world, poising Skyward #2 perfectly in the sights of readers’ curiosity. Spoilers ahead.
Writer Joe Henderson starts Skyward #2 by pulling readers away from the light-heartedness of the previous issue and showing the painful reminder that low gravity is more than just building-hopping. Artist Lee Garbett and Colourist Antonio Fabela use this opportunity to provide the striking image of an asteroid belt-like collection of Earth’s ‘stuff’; this includes cars, boars, planes, and people.
From the start, the issue begins to set itself up for exploration into the classic debate between the older and younger generations on society. Willa was a baby during G-Day, and she knows no other life. Her father, however, is terrified of leaving his apartment (for good reason!) and continually preaches the dangers of this new world. While this conflict starts in the small scale in Skyward #2, Henderson is quick to explore it further as Willa travels to ‘The Streets’. Fabela’s colouring here compliments the atmosphere perfectly; ‘The Streets’ is a brightly-lit downtown of sorts where the people have Grav-Boots and never leave the surface.
Through the issue Willa is attempting to contact a friend of her fathers, who is now a celebrity, Roger Barrow. After a failed attempt to float through the doors of Barrow’s building, Willa acquires some Grav-Boots and blends her way inside. Just about. Garbett’s work showing Willa walking with the Grav-Boots are perhaps my favourite in the issue. Her extended and emphatic gestures, furthered by the low angle, perfectly encapsulate what I imagine it would be like for someone who has never walked with proper gravity to try walking with proper gravity.
Much like any good comic, Skyward #2 ends on a dramatic cliff-hanger. Willa finds Barrow, who instantly turns on the charm and expresses his surprise at her father’s not being dead. Garbett perfectly captures the archetypal characteristics of a character like Barrow; something which is further confirmed in the issue’s last two panels. Barrow, while appearing busy, seems friendly and almost philanthropic.; but, the last panel reveals his sinister intentions as he states he wishes to “strangle the bastard (Willa’s father) with my own bare hands”.
Skyward #2 continues with everything which made Henderson’s first issue so exciting and impressive. The concept alone, a world with low gravity, is simple. Yet, it has allowed Garbett and Fabela to collaborate and create exciting cityscapes and life-filled environments. Furthermore, Henderson’s writing for Willa is perfectly encapsulated visually by Garbett and Fabela. While the science behind the world’s mysterious loss of gravity is left unexplained, it leaves readers wanting to pursue future issues for answers.