What’s Willa Going To Do? Skyward’s 2nd Arc Wraps Up In #10

by Richard Bruton

Here we are, at the end of the second story arc, Here Be Dragonflies, and Skyward continues to be one of the most impressively entertaining books out there. I put forward Lee Garbett’s name for Comicon.com’s list of best cover artists, and he’s definitely living up to it with another excellent cover here. (Although, for a cover, it’s a huge spoiler for something that happens in the final part of this issue. Still bleeding gorgeous though).

Now, given that writer Joe Henderson is an accomplished screenwriter (Lucifer), it’s no surprise that the story arcs in Skyward read very much like a TV show’s seasons. And that means that the endings of story arcs have a familiar feel; wrapping things up, setting up the next story arc, and then giving us what’s intended to be the big shock moment. And so it is here, although, to be honest, this ending just seems too cliched, too obvious a twist. But, apart from that, it’s another lovely issue and I’m content, by this stage, to roll with it and give the comic the benefit of the doubt here.

Before that though, there’s the small matter of sorting out just what Willa is going to do. Her mission to decipher her dad’s research, to find a way to turn gravity on has become somewhat secondary to her need to save a city from a new, unexpected villain, albeit a reluctant one, one who’s been driven to his plan through desperation rather than pure evil. All of which leads to a neatly done bit of escaping, complete with a fun, and funny, bit of in-bug improvisation to raise a smile amidst the various plots going off.

But, the main parts of issue 10 come from the conflicting emotions Willa’s having to deal with. First, there’s Roger Barrow, whom she’s decided to save, even though he’s a vile man, responsible, in part for what happened to her dad. Then there’s her friend, Edison, whose life as a paraplegic will be, hugely, affected by Willa’s mission to turn on gravity. He’s struggling with doing the right thing right now, and Willa’s going to have to cope with that as well.

Skyward the series has been one of my favorites from last year, with a great concept, good strong characters, wonderful artwork, and it’s been so much fun to read.

Now, even though it’s got that real sense of The Walking Dead in its society of changed and broken down settings, especially in this second story arc, there’s been enough to set it apart to make it a definite read month after month. Like I say, I’m thinking the ending, the shock for next season/arc is just a bit of a dud, but there’s still enough of me invested and enjoying Skyward to give it a chance with issue 11 and beyond.

Skyward Issue 10, part 5 of Here Be Dragonflies, written by Joe Henderson, art and cover (and what a cover) by Lee Garbett, colors by Antonio Fabello, letters by Simon Bowland. Published by Image Comics.

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