Fly #5


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Fly #5


  • Words: Raven Gregory
  • Art: Eric J
  • Colors: Michael Garcia
  • Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Oct 26, 2011

When you only fly so high, the crash can't be too bad, but can still pack a punch.

In the real world, drugs cause hallucinations, shivers, euphoria, and the like. In the world of Fly, the titular drug lets people take to the skies, increase their skin density, and otherwise become the gods of comics. Like the real world, coming down off the drug is painful, and this series has proven all too often that relationships can be damaged by drugs. In the final issue's case, the damage is irreparable.

The largest criticism about Fly can come from its art style, which is a victim of trying too hard. Readers will hopefully understand that the younger versions of the characters are rendered in a more cartoony style, with big wide eyes, while the modern versions are gritty and real. It's a noble concept that stretches beyond the page; people tend to idealize their youth and remember things better than they were, while the modern times are gritty and painful because we're living through them now. The problem comes from when characters are almost too cartoony; when facial proportions are lost even in the series' own continuity structure, when a face goes from standard levels of Hanna Barbera to only being eyes, mouth, and hair, it breaks internal consistency. Eric J might not be ready for the big leagues on a major book, but for the personal story that is Fly, he works more than adequately, and appreciation can be given for effort, instead of sticking with the easy options.

Surprisingly, Fly #5 is the end of the current volume. While the series is announced at the back of the book to be returning for a volume two in 2012, the ending of issue five seems rather unfulfilled. Sure, one major plot element has been apparently put down for good, but many of the other elements are left unresolved or only teased. Effectively, it feels like we've received a mid-season finale and are waiting for the show to come back after the Christmas television season. Emotionally, it brings two characters to a quality climax, but unless the series manages to fill in the events of "years ago" and "today" beyond a few word balloons, it will feel hollow.

The characters can (and do) tell us snippets of their lives. Their wedding, their good times, the accidental or intentional near-murders, and so forth are all glimpses into their lives, but don't support enough of the resolution. We know that Danielle, the female lead, has gone from troubled kid to troublemaker, but we don't get to see the tipping point, and if there even was one. If the story goes unresolved and she just went power-mad, it'll be a letdown. If, as Raven Gregory has suggested, it was due to an addiction, given that the book is supposed to be an analog of how addiction can ruin your life, let the reader see into that ruination. While volume two may reveal all the answers, this is an integral part of volume one that's missing. This is the first Iron Man movie without Tony Stark seeing his weapons used for evil, or Batman Begins without Bruce nearly shooting a criminal. These turns are necessary; you can't tell someone how to get somewhere without proper directions, after all.

Fly Volume 2 can't get here soon enough, as the strong concept in both story and art are capable enough to hold up the otherwise challenged script and designs. If the second volume can fix the errors of the first, it'll be a smooth flight.

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