REVIEW: SHE SAID DESTROY #1 Serves a Subversive Story About Faith, Found Family, Self-Reliance & Abuse of Power

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She Said Destroy #1 coverShe Said Destroy #1

Writer: Joe Corallo
Artist: Liana Kangas
Colorist: Rebecca Nalty
Letterer: Melanie Ujimori
Publisher: Vault Comics
When we forget the old Gods, we lose them forever. If the witches of Fey fall under the tyrannical rein of Brigid, Goddess of the Sun, The Morrigan will join their lost siblings — but Brigid has deeply underestimated the witches’ faith in her sister.
She Said Destroy chronicles the witches’ war against Brigid and her forces, focusing on a few main characters: Winona, the most favored of her people, her best friend Raul, Iris, and Jackelyn. In issue #1, Brigid’s forces capture Jackelyn, who watches over Fey from the stars. In response, Winona goes to The Morrigan’s temple to seek guidance for the people of Fey. The goddess’ instructions are simple: “Destroy.”
Although The Morrigan is the Goddess of Death, in Joe Corallo‘s and Liana Kangas‘ new series, she isn’t the villain — instead, that role falls to Brigid, who has literally used inspiration as a means of manipulating the entire galaxy into believing only in her. With just one issue under its belt, She Said Destroy is already challenging perceptions of good and evil, in addition to questioning power, those who seek it, and why it’s sought. Brigid’s believers think she is sustaining them — but in all the conquered lands outside of Fey, what does life look like? Are people thriving? How have their lives changed since they forgot the old gods and turned their faces toward the sun?
Corallo’s writing in She Said Destroy #1 isolates each distinctive voice in this story. The Morrigan and Brigid use different speech patterns from the soldiers, who use different speech patterns from the witches. Everyone has a place in this world, which Corallo’s script dictates without digging into too much exposition. Patterns of speech and the comic’s actual lettering mark cultural and vocal shifts. Letterer Melanie Ujimori balances each character’s voice through color, emphasis and spacing, matching everything flawlessly to Kangas’ art and Rebecca Nalty‘s colors.
Kangas’ art perfectly suits this ethereal fantasy tale about faeries, gods and their sibling rivalries that turn into wars. Each character has a distinctive look, including costume design and facial features. Jackelyn’s costume invokes the black crow and feathered dress we most often see the Goddess of Death wearing (especially in wildly popular properties like The Wicked + The Divine), though we learn that Jackelyn and The Morrigan are not the same through a well-timed sequence of actions and dialogue. Brigid’s soldiers dress in Earth tones with helmets that are fronted in orange-red glass (much like sunglasses, which is really fun). The witches of Fey dress in robes, while Iris wears a commanding white suit.
Line work, too, has specific functions within She Said Destroy. Brigid’s body is disjointed lines surrounded by glowing matter; she is increasingly powerful, and it shows in her rendering. The Morrigan, on the other hand, looks decidedly more solid. More human. She is on the verge of being forgotten. Fey is the last society that still believes in her. Therefore, The Morrigan is smaller and less impressive looking than her sister Brigid, which suits the story beautifully. The underdog here is literally the Goddess of Death and her people, which is a neat play on words and a decidedly brilliant use of illustration.
As mentioned above, Nalty’s color work makes everything fall into place. Each setting and character have distinctive palettes which orient the reader and firmly ground each element of the story. Nothing gets lost, but only the most important bits are highlighted. It’s an impressive balance. Because of it, each re-read of She Said Destroy #1 brings something else to the forefront, with Nalty’s colors doing a significant amount of heavy lifting.
Frankly, this entire creative team is doing the most and it absolutely shows. She Said Destroy is sure to serve up a subversive story about faith, found family, abuse of power, and reliance upon the self, which will definitely make it a contender for best-of 2019 lists. My final verdict is that this issue is an absolute BUY. You won’t want to wait for the trade on this.

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