Overview

Fly #1

Review

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Fly #1

Credits

  • Words: Raven Gregory
  • Art: Eric J.
  • Colors: Michael Garcia and Nei Ruffino
  • Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
  • Release Date: Jun 1, 2011

I have a newfound respect for Raven Gregory.

Admittedly, I really didn’t know anything about him or Zenescope prior to this review, except that Gregory wrote and published modern reinterpretations of classic fairy tales featuring scads of scantily-clad female protagonists and high production values. I’ve flipped through a few of the Wonderland books but never had the time or opportunity to investigate further.

Enter a friend of mine who was good enough to score BF a sneak peek at Gregory’s new creator-owned superhero story Fly.

Set to hit the shelves this summer, Fly chronicles the adventures of a clandestine, disparate group of superpowered individuals, who derive their abilities from a narcotic. This isn’t a book for the faint of heart. Gregory takes a gritty, real world approach to his subject matter.

Actions have consequences in the world of Fly. When someone gets chucked through plate glass, they don’t get up and their face resembles raw ground beef. More than that, it’s when he applies this attention to detail to the intricacies of characterization, that Gregory shows us his true strengths as a writer. Sure, he can shock the hell out of us but like all good storytellers, he’s capable of contrasting moments of gut-wrenching action with intense and insightful emotional beats.

Contrast plays an important part in the visuals of Fly, as well. Gregory’s use of flashbacks to reveal some important story elements and character development challenges artist Eric J. to utilize contrasting art styles to differentiate between the different time periods. Scenes taking place in the present are gritty and heavily shadowed, the figures more defined and the background rendered in exquisite detail. The flashbacks on the other hand feature a bouncier, more exuberant style, relying on cartoonish exaggeration to create a more youthful tone.

Fly is a mature book created by a storyteller I believe is just coming into his own, broadening his artistic horizons and discovering new fantastic vistas. Gregory and his team at Zenescope have a winner in Fly that will expose both creator and publisher to legions of new fans. Gregory evokes the same vibe for me as Brian Pulido did back in the nineties with his numerous creator-owned successes. There was a certain excitement tinged with entrepreneurial zeal in Pulido’s projects that’s sadly lacking in the current market.

Unfortunately, I missed the boat on that particular voyage. Thankfully, I have the opportunity to watch a similar journey unfold at Zenescope.

Seriously addictive, Fly has me hooked.

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