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Air #5 [Review]

The Engine Room

Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist & Cover: M. K. Perker
Colorist: Chris Chuckry
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Assoc. Editor: Pornsak Pichetshote
Editor: Karen Berger
Publisher: Vertigo (DC Comics)

Having been unexpectedly rescued from an unplanned predicament, Blythe finds herself discovering a whole world she’d never known was present, right within the world we all know. After several issues of curious elements cropping up, some secrets are finally revealed–including a last-page doozy that promises plenty of fun potential for this series as it continues.

The story has been a bit of a slow build–with perhaps an extra issue’s worth of context being laid out that probably would have benefited from coming later in the sequence to get us to this point. So far, this isn’t something I’d consider the greatest story I’ve ever read–but while I can’t put my finger on it, there’s something to this that has brought me back four issues more than I’d intended when I decided to check out the first issue.

The art has a certain realism to it without getting so realistic that you forget this IS a comic. The detail is nice and clean, with a soft color pallet complementing it without overwhelming it. No complaints from me on the visuals.

On the whole, this is a fairly interesting new series that started out simply as a premise, but is quickly showing its potential to have a rich, deep mythology about it. It’s certainly worth checking out, though it’s probably not for everyone.

Story: 7.5/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 7.5/10

Air #4 [Review]

Masks and Other Memories

Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist & Cover: M. K. Perker
Colorist: Chris Chuckry
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Associate Editor: Pornsak Pichetshote
Editor: Karen Berger
AIR created by: Wilson & Perker
Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics

This has been an interesting series so far. I’m not terribly familiar with the characters–they are new, after all…and haven’t yet been fleshed out all that much. The idea of a disappearing/forgotten country is intriguing, and seems to fit the somewhat surreal aspect of this series.

This issue sees Blythe and her companions returning from their trip to this forgotten country as she searches for Zayn, the man she seems to love. As explanations for a days-long disappearance are explained, Blythe finds herself in another unfamiliar situation as she goes to a special meeting with her boss.

The art seems the most notable thing to me with this issue–especially the bird-snake appearing from behind the panels to interact with Blythe. Blythe herself is given a distinct look, often shown with a detail that lends an extra bit of realism on the page. The characters are all distinct and nicely drawn, which is a definite plus-point for any book; There’s a certain lightness in these pages that captures the (forgive any pun) “open-air” of the environments, even when enclosed inside a plane.

The story is at once familiar and unique. There’s been an element of surrealness in the first few issues…the ending of this issue continues to throw things on their head a bit, as we realize this is more than what it appears.

I’m suitably interested…I’ve made a point of reading the first issue of most new Vertigo books, and something about this series has had me picking up these later issues, and while I’m a bit bored with the Blythe-is-trying-to-find-Zayne-who-isn’t-who-she-thought-he-was, the final page of this issue grabbed me, and I want to know more.

As with most Vertigo series, this will probably read better in the collected volumes…I’m certain there are details I’ve missed or forgotten that would be much more noticeable reading the chapters in close succession without months between.

Assuming the usual Vertigo style of 5-issue premiere arcs, the next issue should conclude the immediate arc, and presumably set us up for where the series looks to go. If you’re into the singles, this is worthwhile; if you prefer the collected volumes, I’d suggest holding off–this lacks a spectacular nature with an urgency to the singles.

Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10
Whole: 7.5/10

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