Home » Advance Comic Review: She Could Fly #1 Is a Realistic Portrait of Mental Illness

Advance Comic Review: She Could Fly #1 Is a Realistic Portrait of Mental Illness

Luna is beginning her sophomore year of high school and, very early on in Dark Horse’s She Could Fly #1, shows her neuroses. When her school therapist asks her if she’s excited to drive, we see Luna’s fears drawn out. “You will kill someone,” her internal monologue tells her. We see her engaging in different pattern behaviors to keep people safe. It feels very true to my experiences as someone with anxiety, and I love seeing it.

I’m not sure when I started suffering from mental illness. I know that I was diagnosed in October 2016, most of the way through grad school, though I’d been dealing with symptoms since I was kid. It’s something I’ve written about for Wicked Horror before. I love horror, but the genre frequently gets mental health wrong. There are the movies that portray the mentally ill as dangerous, which is the exact opposite of true and there are the movies that end with mentally ill characters finding a magical cure at the end. She Could Fly #1 by Christopher Cantwell and Martín Morazzo has, through one issue, avoided both of these pitfalls while doing a spectacular job portraying fifteen-year-old Luna’s anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Her anxiety isn’t the center of the story either, rather it’s Luna’s obsession with a mysterious flying woman that informs the narrative. In a lot of ways, She Could Fly reminded me of Twin Peaks. It’s examining Western neuroses with magical realism, Eastern philosophy, and a lot of heart.

Morazzo’s art is gorgeous, and Cantwell’s writing feels true to life but still throws in plenty of curveballs. Here’s hoping that they continue to avoid the pratfalls surrounding narratives about mental illness.

Find it at your local comic store or online July 11, 2018.


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Written by Ryan C. Bradley
Ryan C. Bradley (he/him) has published work in The Missouri Review, The Rumpus, Dark Moon Digest, Daikaijuzine, and other venues. His first book, Saint's Blood, is available from St. Rooster Books now! You can learn more about him at: ryancbradleyblog.wordpress.com.
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