I usually have to give a comic at least four issues to decide if I really like it, but in just two, Skyward is shaping up to be a really fun little series. I criticized the first issue for being too slow and lacking plot development, but it got major points for world building. This issue is much the same, except there is lots of plot development.
Willa finds that her father worked on a secret project to discover more about the world’s gravity. However, she refuses to listen to him, and in true young adult style, still wants to leave Chicago for somewhere far away (and of course better) than where she has lived her entire life. Adding to this issue’s intrigue is the fact that there’s a mogul, Roger Farrow, who worked with Willa’s father, but instead of becoming a shut-in, he profited off of G-Day by making anti-float shoes so the incredibly rich and famous could live normally on the ground.
This development was interesting and definitely opens up a lot of different places it could progress to in the future. Again, the world building is top notch in this chapter. The world of “the streets” is a cool idea, and it makes perfect sense that the rich would be able to live normally while the poor have to battle gravity alone. There’s also the small detail that I really liked: one of Willa’s coworkers comments on how they lived in the midwest when G-Day happened, and so many people were lost that day because there’s nothing to grab onto in flat, skyscraper-free land. The spread at the very beginning of the issue, showing a ring around Earth of people, animals, and things, suspended in death as if they were Saturn’s rings, was eerie as hell and added a certain aspect of post-apocalyptic vibe to the series.
Willa is a really spunky and fun character who perfectly encapsulates the young adult spirit while still being fun to root for. There’s not much development of her other relationships, but I’m really enjoying her and her coworker’s — who is paraplegic — interactions, even if there’s not much to go off of here. I’m looking forward to how he factors into the story later, and I would like to know his backstory more if time allows.
Garbett’s art continues to be pitch perfect for the series. There’s not really much more I can say that I didn’t say in my first issue review, but he’s adopted his style for this series to be airy and loose enough to work for the setting and story. Willa is well-designed, and I love the movement of her hair and her facial expressions. The spread I mentioned earlier of the ring around the earth was so perfectly executed by Garbett’s art — it was cool and creepy simultaneously.
Skyward isn’t a book that will dazzle and wow you, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s progressing at its own pace and taking care to establish the world while still adding bits and pieces of intriguing plot threads to explore in future issues. It’s really enjoyable even just for the exploration of a world very different yet very similar to our own, in a clever, almost tongue-in-cheek, way. While it’s too early to make a definitive call on this series, after this issue I’m strapped in for this zero G ride.
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