Air: A History of the Future – G. Willow Wilson 

All good things and all that. This final volume does a good job of staying focussed, wrapping things up and leaving you just as confused as you were when you started.

It has certainly been an unusual ride and without an overall message to take away you do feel a little unfulfilled. All the characters are here for the finale and there are some twists and unexpected outcomes but it never answers the Why question.

The art is the same as before but after four volumes the character designs have become smoother and more fluid. Unfortunately this means losing the quirky and rich personality present in their faces.

For the neat and satisfying conclusion this gets a Thumbs Up!

191/174.

Tomorrow: The Plain Janes – Cecil Castellucci

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Air: Pureland – G. Willow Wilson

This mid-air love story gets highjacked for a detour into world politics. By aiming to kill two birds with one stone it falls foul of its own cleverness. There is a touching and romantic story here, one that deserves to thrive on its own, without the need for unrelated distractions.

The art is great but the creative touches seen previously have either faded or disappeared altogether.

It is a thumbs up despite itself.

190/175.

Tomorrow: Air: A History of the Future – G. Willow Wilson

Air: Flying Machine – G. Willow Wilson

What started out weird and got weirder last volume goes nuts here. Most notably is the forward written by the author as herself regaling us with a conversation she had with one of her fictional characters who tells her what happened in the last book. Huh!?!

As us readers are finally getting a hang on what the plot is we need to be sent spinning when people start err… changing. This is certainly a read that keeps you on your toes. But not one that forces you to take notes, keep flicking backwards or consult appendices. This is mind spaghetti cooked with a graceful touch.

We find out more details of supporting characters, indulge in some procrastination at the airport and then take an ancient history lesson. This does slow the book down but there are enough riddles and surprises to keep you interested.

The art maintains the same high standard and there are some really sumptuous colours. Although less visual tricks than previously they are all used intelligently at key moments. A Thumbs Up!

188/177.

Tomorrow: Air: Pureland – G. Willow Wilson

Air: Letters from Lost Countries – G. Willow Wilson

This has to be one of the most phenomenal and cryptic openings of any book. Even twenty-five pages in you still don’t know what is going on yet are completely enthralled. Just like our heroine you are caught up in a mystery and powerless to stop it taking you to strange places full of strange ideas.

Part thriller, part romance with a tiny hint of Aztec Steampunk this is magical realism at its finest. If you mixed Sandman with the Thirty-nine Steps you might just come close to this. Tapping into the zeitgeist fear of air terrorism and with a poignant ecological message this work carves a unique niche and waves the flag or originality for all it is worth.

Printed on matt paper the art is very Y: The Last Man. Unlike the smooth, handsome faces that seem to be the default for many comics – and the media in general – here are genuinely quirky faces full of character and depth. There is a lot of freedom in the panel composition with dramatic and unusual angles enhancing the disorientation. Some great dream sequences where characters step out of the frames and things happen in the white-space in between.

If you have the faith to step into the unknown and hang on while your head spins then ultimately you will be rewarded. For originality and courage this receives the Double Thumbs Up!

188/177.

Tomorrow: Air: Flying Machine – G. Willow Wilson