By Frank Portillo
The latest release from Image Comics, “Skyward,” offers a unique look at a world in which gravity on Earth is at such a low level, people float as if they’re on a space station.
In this world, twenty years have passed since the loss of gravity and a new generation of people grew up their entire lives not knowing what the past was like.
The first issue of the series, titled “My Low-G Life,” does a fantastic job at building the world in 27 pages and making the reader care about the characters who inhabit the story.
Writer Joe Henderson, who was the showrunner for Fox’s “Lucifer,” crafts an intriguing and mysterious story that is complemented by artwork from artist Lee Garbett.
The issue begins on the date of the incident when everything seems normal until Nate, a husband and father to a newborn baby, spills his favorite coffee mug during breakfast.
Instead of crashing to the floor, Nate notices that the mug is suspended mid-air along with his coffee before realizing that his wife Lilly had just gone out for a run.
In a panic, he tries to rush outside but is held back by the low gravity which is keeping his feet from touching the ground.
Garbett draws a beautiful splash page where he shows readers the ramifications of lower gravity that now exists on Earth.
Cars float everywhere while Nate’s wife holds onto a light pole, clinging on for safety.
Her expression of sheer fear and Nate’s expression of desperation as he tries to reach her before she floats off into space is delicately drawn by Garbett.
His artwork puts emphasis on the family tragedy and delivers an emotional experience.
The early tragedy sets the tone for the rest of the story as it flashes forward twenty years.
Newborn Willa is now an adult and her adventurous attitude prompts the need to travel and see the world despite objection from her father who sees the world as a dangerous place.
It’s going to be interesting, going forward, to see where Willa’s character goes.
Given the universe that she inhabits, her adventurous attitude and quick-wittedness, it makes her an intriguing protagonist.
An interesting aspect of the book is the way that people live their lives in this world.
People fly around everywhere and walking seems alien to the new generation of people.
When Willa comes across a crosswalk sign, she doesn’t understand what it means.
Handicapped people, who were once in wheelchairs, are now able to travel without the assistance of their chairs.
Guns are rendered useless.
The best thing about “Skyward” is the endless possibilities of stories that can be told in this world.
“Skyward” is an ongoing series that can be purchased at a local comic book store or online at midtowncomics.com for $3.99.
Future issues will be released on the third Wednesday of every month.