The premiere of Air around one month ago garnered some rather mixed critical response from us at Comics Bulletin. I was one of the folk that liked the first issue; I found it unique and well written, enough so that the book made its way on to my pull list. So here we are on the second issue, one month later and Iíve found myself in an excited state as I slipped the comic into my bag.
We find Blythe having another round of strange dreams when the issue starts. Sheís climbing a ladder and passing oddities. Strange, I know. At the top of the ladder is a serpent with feathered-wings. This is a small dose of the becoming-regular ambiguities that are peppered throughout the first two entries into the series. The first issue also opened with a dream sequence centered on moving through the sky, only Blythe was falling in the first while she is climbing in the second. Iím putting a lot of trust in Wilson as I assume she is going to make some wildly relevant connection when the time comes for explaining these moments in the story. But I like what they are doing for Blythe as a character in the here and now; they are giving her some depth and bone structure. We readers are learning what sheís made of and what she thinks about, itís a refreshing take on character development that Iím welcoming over the traditional flashbacks. These ambiguous dreams are offering us a glimpse at the stuff within Blythe, but we arenít learning as much as we would be if we simply flashed back to her crazy childhood. Itís a way to make us all earn character development, and itís well done.
Blythe, her flight attendant friend and the care taker at her home come together to find the ďfakeĒ country mentioned in the last issue. Sheís tracking down her mysterious, multi-personality boyfriend, and Wilson hints several times that Blythe wonít like what she learns about him. The entire issue centers on the discovery of this forgotten land and it reads almost like an amateur detective novel. The full plot runs on moments of excitement and intrigue, and what comes to the pages with plenty of exposition reads quickly. Youíll be upset when itís over.
As far as the art is concerned, we received preview copies of the first issue. They showed up without color. While the pencils alone looked fantastic, the book did feel a little repetitive and lacking without the color itself. Well, here I am with a colored copy and I absolutely love it. Chris Chuckry has done a superb job as the colors add a whole new level to Parkerís drawings. The book is a joy to look at and youíll never be troubled or confused by layouts or scenes.
Air #2 will give you excuses to keep reading. By the time youíve reached the end youíll be looking forward to the next installment. The ending doesnít read like a traditional cliffhanger, but the moment Wilson leaves us with is good enough to keep a hold on you.
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!