Skyward # 15: The End Of Willa’s Flight, For Now

by Richard Bruton

I’ve been following Skyward since the beginning, loving Joe Henderson’s high concept, loving the characters, loving Lee Garbett’s artwork, and now, with issue 15, it’s time to say goodbye, at least for now. It’s been a blast.

Yes, over 15 issues we’ve been introduced to this brave new world, where gravity suddenly switched off, leaving a low-G world where being out in the open was deadly. And more importantly, we’ve been introduced to Willa, the wonderful main character of Skyward. Her strength, resilience, and passion for life has been the thing that’s absolutely the best of Skyward.

Joe Henderson’s concept has been nicely fleshed out, with the comic full of those little moments that show us, ever so well, just what life would be like in this low-G world. It could be something as simple as hair moving differently, something as deadly as understanding how dangerous water can be, or even the realisation that low-G, for some, can mean freedom or another way to garner power.

And all of that and more has been brought to wonderful life by Lee Garbett; he’s built a world that’s both beautiful and believable and brought the wonderful characters to life as they explore the world.

However, it’s not all been perfect, as you’ll have read with previous reviews. Over the course of the series, and particularly with these last five issues, I had a real sense that everything is just being overly compressed, which hasn’t given the great ideas, characters, and storylines the space they needed.

And here, in the final issue (at least of volume 1), all that’s writ large, with the entire comic done as a tidy up and goodbye thing, neatly tying off plots and resolving everything. It feels really rushed and forced and that’s such a shame.

In his endpiece, Henderson mentions a volume two, and I really hope we’ll see that very soon. I would love to think that will be a more stretched out affair as this is a comic, a concept, and characters that would be wonderful to explore more at leisure.

Henderson’s also currently writing the movie adaptation of Skyward right now, something that, if it’s done right, could be rather great – although I doubt any CGI in the world will ever be able to do the things Garbett’s been doing these last 15 issues.

So, farewell, for now Skyward and Willa. In this low-G world it was a real pleasure to see you take flight.

Skyward – Published by Image Comics, written by Joe Henderson, art and cover by Lee Garbett, colors by Antonio Fabela, letters by Simon Bowland

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