Skyward No. 11 review: Secrets revealed and vulture-gliding!


Skyward changes direction, literally, in the latest issue.

Post-apocalyptic fiction offers a multitude of what-if scenarios. “What if a bunch of nukes went off?”, or “what if aliens invaded?”, “what if all the animals on Earth died?” and “what if the Earth blew up?” Skyward takes an ingenious and, once you think about it, very obvious look at a possible future: “what if gravity almost completely went away?” Writer Joe Henderson, artist Lee Garbett, colorist Antonio Fabela, and letterer Simon Bowland have whipped up a smart, funny, and all-too-believable glimpse at how people rebuild after one of the most important and ignored forces in our lives all but disappears, and this most recent issue takes the story down a whole new path.

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Willa Fowler head skyward to thwart the villain’s plans

In the last issue, Willa and Edison planned to kidnap the evil Roger Barrow from his kidnappers, in order to make it to Kansas City, where Willa’s deceased father’s journal supposedly held the secret to returning gravity back to the planet, only for Barrow to escape them, with the journal in hand, forcing Willa and Edison to split up; Willa would head to Kansas City on foot, and Edison would go back to Chicago to warn everyone about the incoming giant bug swarm headed their way. This issue starts out with Willa ruminating on the dangers of traveling long distances without gravity to prevent her from floating skyward up into outer space, and an incidental vulture attack occurs as she crosses a desert wasteland. Willa decoded her father’s journal, giving her an “x marks the spot” situation, and in short time, she arrives in Kansas City, well after Barrow, who has a nifty jetpack.

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It’s hard to believe the unbelievable

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Back in Chicago, Edison contacts Joan, who helped Willa escape from Barrow several issues ago, and seeks her help to get the city ready for the impending insect attack. Edison discovers that Joan has a cop girlfriend who wants to arrest him for “terrorist activities,” but he puts the confusion to rest when he pulls a giant dragonfly head out of a bag, urging the cop to bring it to the other officers in the city. Edison plans to track down Shirley, who worked with him and Willa at the rocket messenger service, and speak to his ultra-rich, ultra-jerk parents. In Kansas City, Willa discovers a bunch of snack cakes and then figures out that the “x” her father left behind was the branching of a river. She does this by launching herself high above the city and grabbing onto one of the vultures that followed her across the desert, getting an aerial view of the topography without flying into orbit. At the fork, Willa runs into Barrow, who handcuffs her to his jetpack, blasting her away. She gets free and tackles Barrow, who has opened up a giant hatch. Tumbling into a room with a big red button screaming “push me,” they tussle, only to be interrupted by the masked stranger from the end of the last issue, who presses the button, opening a giant hole.

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The three humans descend, eventually coming to a gigantic underground city, and the stranger is revealed to be Willa’s mother, who was presumed dead in the very first issue. It seemed obvious that the stranger was her mom, but the giant subterranean city was a shock; it seemed like the story was going to reveal a crazy science experiment. The future of the series has taken a whole new direction with this reveal, and should be quite entertaining for many more issues to come. 9/10, highly recommended. Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.