“Chekhov’s gun” is a storytelling rules: If a writer introduces a gun in the first act, it’s going to go off in the second. She Could Fly has skirted around violence while promising the possibility so far. In issue 3, the gun goes off, and series writer Christopher Cantwell follows that by introducing an even bigger one: a ““mutli-terawatt explosion” that would irradiate the city (7).
Cantwell ups the series’ stakes in other ways too. Each issue he’s added a new set of characters that are after either the flying woman or the process that empowered her. This one’s no different. He doesn’t stop their either. This issue he dedicates time to taking characters off the sideline and getting them more in the chase. What’s so impressive is how well paced it is. The characters are coming quickly, but Cantwell and the illustrations of Martin Morrazzo manage to establish them fully without bogging down the story with exposition.
Related: See our review of issue 2 right here
Even better is Cantwell’s understanding of mental illness. As I wrote in my review of issue 1, this a series that’s portraying mental illness that breaks out of cliched stereotypes. Luna can’t help but picture some horrendously violent things and it takes a toll on her, but she’s still treated with respect and agency. Cantwell nails it again, illustrating the way that people without mental illness can incidentally trample a conversation where someone with mental illness tries to open up. To be vulnerable is so hard, and seeing Luna struggle with it is heartbreaking.
She Could Fly #3 struggles with portraying sex work though. For a comic that spends a lot of time making sure it gets the grittier parts of obsessive-compulsive disorder right, it really misses with Verna. She was introduced as Bill Meig’s girlfriend (though they met while he was her client, something he repeatedly berates her about). She gives her backstory this issue, and it is totally divorced from the reality of sex work in a way that belittles a frequently exploited group of people. Cantwell can and needs to do better.
That being said, if David Lynch wrote a graphic novel (he did have a comic strip called The Angriest Dog in the World for a decade) it would look a lot like She Could Fly.
Issue 3 soared onto shelves Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 from Dark Horse.
Wicked Rating: 7/10