Willa’s mother gets aeronautical in Skyward No. 13


Skyward keeps on getting better and better.

Sometimes the simplest concepts make for the greatest stories. Look at any revenge flick, or the Lord of the Rings trilogy: “get the thing to the place to stop evil”. Skyward is operating off the conceit that planetary existence soldiers on after gravity pretty much disappears, albeit numerous lifestyle changes have to occur, such as magnet boots for ground dwellers, safety lines for floaters, and a general avoidance of giant insects. Writer Joe Henderson, artist Lee Garbett, colorist Antonio Fabela and letterer extraordinaire Simon Bowland have given readers a delightful and sometimes scary romp through a dystopian future that isn’t all that bad, except, of course, for the oversized bugs that want to kill everyone and the threat of just floating out of the atmosphere accidentally.

Image Comics

More from Comics

Of course Skyward has escape tunnels hidden in haunted houses

At the end of the last issue, Willa’s mom’s boyfriend blew the only exit out of the underground city that her father designed before G-Day and where her mother Lilly has lived ever since, trapping Willa, everyone else, and evil Roger Barrow inside. This issue of Skyward opens up with Barrow trying to punch the artificial sun, while Willa and her mother catch up, which is surely a cathartic experience when you’re trapped in a giant, comfortable tomb made to look like a cozy neighborhood. The three of them want to find a way out and end up talking to the local children, who have been warned about fooling around in a “haunted house” in the middle of town. The house turns out to be the domicile Willa’s father designed for his family, never occupied all these long years. A quick search turns up a tunnel in the basement, leading to a hangar full of cars and a plane. Of course.

Image Comics

Threatening your parents with a bomb is standard practice in Skyward

While our heroine is perfecting her escape, Edison returns home to Chicago, where his arms dealer parents are at a fancy party, making arms-dealer deals. It’s quickly revealed that his mother is the brains of the operation, and Edison demands to know where Roger Barrow keeps the lights on at so that it can be destroyed, allowing the city a chance of surviving the imminent giant bug attack from the farmers that used to work for Barrow. He bluffs his mother with a supposed bomb in his wheelchair. But she sees right through him, gives up the information and gives her son a ticket for a train leaving that night for New York, in case he wants to flee. Skyward has been tackling the ins and outs of family interactions in a sympathetic yet hyperbolic way that many readers are sure to relate to.

Next. Aliens want to bomb Seattle in Port Of Earth No. 10!. dark

Back at the hangar, Willa learns that her mother used to be a pilot, and they take off in the little plane, which miraculously is in perfect working order, even though it sat, un-maintained, for two decades. It would seem they’re flying to Chicago to help Edison and company with the defense of the city, which, in the final page of the issue, is about to be overrun with giant butterflies being ridden by warrior farmers. Natch. Word on the street is that Skyward will be a movie sooner or later, and it should be a humdinger, if the source material has anything to say about that. 9/10, highly recommended. Let us know what you thought in the comments section below.