Filed under: Comic Reviews, Indie Comics | Tags: Garry McLaughlin, Stephen Sutherland, Taking Flight
Billed as a superheroic one-shot, Taking Flight is my latest indy comic read and comes hot off the presses from writer Stephen Sutherland and Artist/Letterer Garry McLaughlin. Could have disappeared in among the other tales of capes and super-powers but there’s something a little more “real” about this one.
Set in Glasgow (good call), we open with a man on a ledge…..building up to his final decision to jump and jump he does. For us we’re fully expecting someone to swoop in and save him but no……the man flies off thinking “My girlfriends gonna FREAK OUT”……in a 2-page spread which opens the issue with the kind of twist and originality we don’t see very often in the comic book world.
We’re then gifted to a brief history of the “superhero”, from humble beginnings in the USA of the late 30’s through the war years and onto modern times where Scotland plays its part in the first real revelations about the superheroes in our midst. Here, the tabloid world of gossip and fame strips the “good” from their efforts. A highly original concept which says as much about the real world we live in as it does from a creative point of view for a superhero story. Maintaining a realistic approach to how the world would ACTUALLY respond.
Even with an air of the “super” about it, that stays as a secondary element as the story plays out with something more intriguing in anything I’ve read in quite a while…..maybe it’s the warmth of the subject in hand as our main characters Michael & Rosie try and figure out their daily life or the real-world approach. Relationship angst, worries about work and trying not to be discovered or let the world know he’s “one of them” just seems to work so well.
There’s some great humour throughout the book as a passing phrase from a member of the public has me chuckling to myself or when Rosie convinces Michael to do more with his abilities – won’t tell you what she does…you’ll have to read it.
A lot of praise has to go to Stephen Sutherland as the plot, the real-life feel and balancing act of super vs human seems to have seeped from his words onto the page. Holding that feel in place is Garry McLaughlin and his attention to detail on the pencilling and lettering. I love that skyline in the 2-page spread that helps open the issue and that helps set the tone for the entire issue. Cityscapes, poignant moments and humour all held together….sometimes by a glance from a central character…a well-paced delivery of a line or even the introduction of a sound-effect.
A great read which delivers as a one-shot in more ways than many others have done before. Perfectly paced meaning it doesn’t ramble on trying to fill the first few pages and not feeling rushed or cramped near the end. Surely the point of an issue where the main character flies should make us feel like we, the reader, wants to fly too??….and that’s what we’ve got here.
Top marks to Stephen AND Garry here for creating an indy that I can bag and board in order to loan to others or even just suggest they buy their own DAMN copy😀
Check out this title and more at the link below:
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