by Nick Eskey
For starters, this work is not for kids, and there might be a plot spoiler. With that out of the way, let’s review!
Airboy was originally made during the boom of super hero comics in the World War II era, where America dreamed of spandex clad heroes fighting not only super villains, but of the likes of Hitler and the entire Nazi army. One of the things that set him apart was that Airboy flew a plane with wings that flapped much like a bird’s. Even stranger, a Franciscan monk made both the plane and the superhero costume.
Aside from sharing the same name, that’s where the buck stops in this book. What we are instead given is a fast and illicit trip through one’s insecurities, and case of writer’s block.
Through the first few pages, it’s not the WWII flying ace that we see, but rather we are treated to a modern day man sitting on a toilet. Namely, we see writer “James Robinson” himself, being assigned the Airboy comic for a reboot. The story follows him, and later on artist Greg Hinkle, through a night of alcohol and drug fueled mayhem. Amid a wicked hangover, everything crescendos with a very “unlikely” visitor.
I must admit, it was weird seeing things from other end of the drawing board. Within the first couple of panels, confusion set in, and I read on wondering when this “Airboy” was going to make the scene. A number of pages later, all expectations of him and his flapping plane disappeared. I felt like some cardinal rule was getting broken. But as someone said some time long ago, rules are made to be broken.
The visuals reminded me a lot of “The Fifth Beatle” spliced with a Lewis Carroll drug trip. The use of solid colors as opposed to shading makes the art style unique
Disregarding the art and the surprise twist at the end, the writing alone will keep any down to earth reader keep on reading. The frank, clear dialogue helps us relate to the characters it many ways, from their concerns and feelings, to the insane situations they are involved in.
All-in-all, I loved this story so far. It took me a few heartbeats to get passed my great confusion over the story title, but after that it was a good time. The humor and situations are very adult, so don’t be too shocked when you see male genitalia. Yup, you heard me.
This is a must read that should be picked up at your local retailer.
Airboy by Image Comics is available for sale as of today, June 3rd.