Air #1 (DC Comics/Vertigo imprint)
by G. Willow Wilson & M.K. Perker
When DC first launched its Vertigo imprint, I was on board for everything that bore the brand. I was a diehard Vertigo fanboy, converted early on thanks to Neil Gaiman and Morpheus. I remained a fan during its second and third wave of titles and anchor writers, but in more recent years, I’ve been more selective in my Vertigo selections. I knew little about Air and its creators when I first read the initial promotional efforts for the title, and it didn’t grab my attention. I didn’t plan on buying the book, but DC plunked a review copy in my lap. Writer G. Willow Wilson certainly doesn’t believe in starting slow or decompressed storytelling. This unusual story about a secret war for control of security of the skies is definitely unique, undeniably smart and oddly puzzling, but by the end of the book, it seems like a romantic fantasy, something of a Harlequin romance for conspiracy theorists. I’m intrigued, mostly because I’m not sure everything is as it seems; there’s a surreal tone at play that makes me question what the writer and the characters are telling me. Ultimately, I find I’m a bit torn about the book, as I was nagged by the feeling that the central character — a flight attendant who gets swept up in a weird, shadow war — ends up accepting too easily the extreme and impossible circumstances in which she finds herself all of a sudden. Furthermore, Air seems a little past its prime. Perhaps had it been a couple of years ago, when the events of 9/11 reverberated more strongly in the social subconscious, it might have seemed more relevant and urgent.