Writer: Joe Henderson
Artist: Lee Garbett
Colorist: Antonio Fabela
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Review by Michael Farris, Jr.
In Skyward #4, we find Willa back at her father’s house after having escaped Roger Barrow, only to find the house in disarray. Fortunately, the problem is quickly dealt with by Willa and her dad. Unfortunately, her dad refuses to leave the house despite literally having a map that leads them to where he can return gravity to normal. Willa persuades him knocks him out and transports him to Shirley’s office to discuss what to do next, and that’s when things only get way worse.
The rising tension that carried the third issue of this series does not let up in the fourth installment of Skyward. Despite handling a pair of thugs fairly easily, Willa faces one of her biggest challenges with trying to get her dad out the door. She now believes he has the key to returning the world to normal, but getting him to deal with the trauma of feeling responsible for his wife’s death is a monumental task. On top of that is Roger Barrow’s scheming to force Willa’s dad to show his face and deal with whatever Barrow has in store. Oh, and it’s about to rain, which, in a low-g world, is not a good thing.
I knew there was something I was still wanting from this series, and in this one, I realized what it was: more interaction between Willa and her dad. We saw a smattering of their exchanges together, but it was only in passing. In this issue, the narrative is driven by their relationship and how they deal with conflict together, and it’s incredibly fulfilling. I’m not quite sure that Willa has any concept of what PTSD is, but her dad clearly cares about her in spite of his fear and his eventual foolhardy decisions.
All of the ingredients that make this such a great series are present in this book. The characters continue to be well-written. We get more questions and mysteries that are presented in a way that brings us back wanting more to an almost addicting degree. And of course, we get answers to questions we didn’t know to ask about what the world would look like without gravity. Who knew a little rainstorm could be so threatening?
Of course, none of this would be possible without the amazing artwork that has been a highlight of this story already full of highlights. You can almost see the low-g action scenes coming to life, and the two-page spread where you view the approaching rainstorm is hard to take your eyes off of.
Verdict: Buy it.
There is no reason not to be reading this comic. And Skyward #4 leaves you on an intense cliffhanger…the kind that if you let go, you’d float away into space instead of go splat.