On the very last page of issue #4 of She Could Fly, I read the word “End” and almost lost my mind. I frantically scrolled back through the issue, looking for clues that would make sense as to how this could possibly be the end of the story. There were too many unanswered questions that would weigh on me. I found my answer in creator Christopher Cantwell’s afterword…more issues in the Spring, he wrote. I calmed myself.
There’s a reason why I just about threw my computer across the room. It’s because of how deeply, with every issue, I have become more and more invested in the story of Luna and all of the people that surround her. Luna is, without a doubt, one of the more complex characters to pop up in the comic book world in recent memory. Her story arc – the antagonist she must overcome – is herself; the voices she hears and what she fears she is capable of all weigh on Luna. Luna has a mental illness and with every issue that struggle becomes more real, as Cantwell and artist Martín Morazzo use their gifts of storytelling and comic book creation to depict her fractured mind and draw you into that frightening mental state, as well.
Luna has lived like this for years and finally saw freedom in the form of a girl who could fly. She became obsessed with the mysterious girl. Others saw her, as well. In fact, this flying girl was all over the news… until, one day, the girl who could fly blew up. This sent Luna spiraling. Her search for who this girl pulled her into a story of espionage, secret government agencies, and billion-dollar scientific discoveries. The cast of characters has included her guidance counselor, an unhinged man who was on the run with the scientific discovery looking for more answers, the woman he was paying to be with him, Luna’s grandma who is clairvoyant or some kind of a mystic, and her poor parents who have no idea what’s going on. These characters have been drawn together within an increasingly violent vortex.
The story, up until now, has been in a lot of ways dealing with the abstract; it’s felt very cerebral and psychological. Well, issue #4 is like a slap across the face, as the physical is suddenly punched up to an “11.” Cantwell has done an incredible job pushing the story forward, never staying in one spot too long, never lingering or letting us get comfortable, and this issue is a testament to that.
Also, this series is incredibly prescient with everything that’s happening in the United States right now. With the #metoo movement still pushing forward, the creators have tapped into something bigger, and they’ve done so with an authenticity that deserves attention. Yes, this story is about a secret scientific project, but it all comes back around to Luna wanting to break free and fly, to find that power. This theme finds its way into the other female characters’ storylines, as well, in some incredibly powerful ways. It’s a reminder that there are more stories to tell led by women. We’ve hardly scratched the surface.
Creative Team: Christopher Cantwell (writer), Martín Morazzo (artist), Clem Robbins (letters), Miroslav Mrva (colors), Karen Berger (editor), Rachel Roberts (associate editors), Mike Richardson (publisher), Adam Pruett (digital art technician)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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