Monday, October 03, 2011
"Air" - G. Willow Wilson and M. K. Perker
ABOVE: Here is flighty Blythe, unable to decide if it's day or night. That's not the only thing she'll be indecisive about.
Blythe is a stewardess who's afraid of heights. Wrong profession for someone who's afraid of heights, you may think. Maybe, but Blythe is completely nuts. It's a very reasonable fear considering a group of vigilantes calling themselves the Etesians are trying to save the post-9/11 skies from terrorists... by indulging in some high-altitude violence all their own.
It was not love at first flight for me and G. Willow Wilson's series "Air." The plot, as it first revealed itself, played like a mile-high-club Harlequin roamnce with some "Lost" ambitions. While the Etesians trade cryptic gang signs and talk of an all-powerful "device" that can CHANGE EVERYTHING, Blythe is busy falling for a tall, dark, handsome and possible terrorist-y stranger called Zayn. Because nothing is easy for today's empowered heroines, we know Blythe is not really going to hook up with Zayn for good until the tale ends spinning, Instead we're treated to endless bouts of pouting and whining and moaning, endless games of "I Love You I Love You Not," all suggesting Blythe has serious mental issues. A typical page of "Air" goes like this:
Panel #1: Blythe leans against Zayn's manly, protective chest. She says: "It feels so good here. It feels like home."
Panel #2: Suddenly she pushes away from him : "But that's what you want, isn't it? To barge in my life and act like we belong together and everything is fine?"
Panel #3: Just as suddenly she kisses him: "And yet... I DO feel everything is wonderful when I'm with you."
Panel #4: Now she slaps him: "No! NO! You think it can all be fixed with your sweet kisses? It's all over between us!" (She runs off in tears.)
Panel #5: Zayn (scratches his head) "What the...? I should have taken that 'Archie Comics' gig instead."
Bitches be crazy, but Blythe is riding first class on the crazy plane.
ABOVE: Here be the corpses of all the relationships Blythe has killed with the sheer power of her deadly mood swings.
But as it happens, "Air" gets considerably better in latter issues. True, most of the characters remain one-note, while Blythe has so many notes she might as well be a neurotic symphony, but eventually I fell for an inventive story that reminded me of Alan Moore's "Promethea." "Air" has myth, history, (New Agey) philosophy, and a pretty good answer to the question: "Whatever DID happen to Amelia Earhart"? If only artist M. K. Perker had been a little better at drawing airplanes, and G. Willow Wilson a little less indulgent of her character's bipolar tantrums, the series might not have been cancelled after only 24 issues.
ABOVE: Here is Blythe, finally put away in a nice room with cloudy padded walls.