Writer: Joe Corallo Art: Liana Kangas Publisher: Vault Comics
WHAT IS IT?
A story of gods and war, faith and starships.
It's character types and color palette of She-Ra mixed with the conceptual themes from of Gaiman's American Gods or Pratchett's Small Gods.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Brigid, the goddess of the Sun is killing off the old gods and converting the believers to her brand of religion.
She's zeroing in on her sister, The Morrigan's, believers, and she intends to kill or convert these last few in an effort to consolidate power and survive a new age of belief about to rock the universe.
Winona and Raul, two of The Morrigan's followers, must resolve their differences, harness the power of their goddess, and band together with their fellow believers in order to fight back the forces of the Sun in order to stop Brigid from taking over the universe.
Often, covers don't reflect the events inside the comic. This cover foreshadows events inside both directly (how Winona gets the cut on her face) and indirectly (there will be blood).
She Said Destroy drops you right into the action, like it's skipped all the slower parts of a story to the big finish.
Colorist Rebecca Nalty's palette feels almost island-y with pastel colors. She brings so much depth, shading and texture to Liana Kangas's delicate, minimalist line art. You don't often see the colorist doing that, so it makes for a unique aesthetic that feels unencumbered by black ink.
That's not to say Kangas doesn't bring it with the line work. Every line placed feels deliberate. The loose, almost sketchy way they're applied brings a lightness and ethereality to the comic that matches the tone of a story about space gods and faith very well.
Melanie Ujimori's borderless balloons and specially designed word balloons for Brigid and The Morrigan help bring that crisp, ethereal quality to life in dialogue. Plus, she gets to have some fun with big sound effects this issue. Some are large and drawn-out, and others are tiny perfect, like a "CLINK" that looks level with the ground.
Joe Corallo has me on the edge of my seat, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Starting deep in what feels like a much greater story, I keep wondering what's going to happen. Is Raul going to defect to the side of the Sun? What if Brigid is actually the "good" goddess and we're only rooting for The Morrigan and her people because the main characters are her believers? Is consideration of concepts like "good" or "bad" even necessary here, or do we just follow the Rule of Cool and enjoy the comic at face value?
Assuming Brigid is the villain and there are no tricky twists or turns here, I love how good her branding is. As mentioned in my review of the first issue, The Morrigan is the goddess of death, traditionally viewed as a negative concept. Brigid is goddess of the Sun, usually seen as a positive. Her ship is called "The Inspiration." She's a strong and powerful Black woman. All the optics are in her favor.
Also, how do you "kill" the goddess of death? What happens to people when you do? Do people not die? Is the process of death different?
What if the story isn't even about this final battle, but it's about something we won't even fully have insight into until later issues? Either way, thank you, reader, for allowing me to fill this review with my fan theories for the story.
Any time you can work in the line "Where is your god now?" is a good time.
Seeing Brigid's hair become huge and fiery with her anger was a very cool and visually appealing effect.
It's so quick, you might miss it, but characters refer to Winona and Raul with "them" pronouns. It's nice to see this kind of thoughtfulness toward representation and inclusion in comics, even in subtle ways.
The attention given to tiny patterns, like on Brigid's straps for her outfit or the arches of the architecture in one scene, feel so lovingly applied, it's truly a pleasure for the readers who notice them.
I'm always a sucker for splitting a single panel up into more panels to show the passage of time or focus on certain elements, and this issue has a scene that does that beautifully.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
Schisms between characters, friendships mended, characters dying...they all feel like they could be harder-hitting had the series started earlier in the story. It's hard to get a sense of stakes or meaningfulness in so short a time.
There's one action sequence that feels a little disjointed, like the panels were out of order. It can disrupt the flow of the action and take you out of the moment for a second if you have trouble following or interpreting what's going on.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
It's starships, old gods, and a people about to go to war. If you need more reason than that, it's gorgeously colored. Also, it feels like events are about to really ramp up, so if you're thinking of climbing aboard this train filled with fantasy and magic and even a little science fiction, now is the time!
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
If you like the art:
Black AF: Devil's Dye by Vita Ayala & Liana Kangas
Captain America by Mark Waid & Chris Samnee
Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan & Cliff Chiang
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Joe Corallo – Writer
Multitalented: Also writes about comics for Geek.com, ComicMix.com and other websites and edits comics
Edited the Dead Beats Anthology (which was recently funded Kickstarter) with Eric Palicki
Liana Kangas – Artist
Works in both digital & traditional formats
Multitalented: Her professional background is in marketing and outreach
Rebecca Nalty – Colorist
Outlander: Lives in Ireland
Seems to be drawn toward brighter, more vivid color palettes
Melanie Ujimori – Letterer
Melanie is a Japanese-Okinawan vector artist from Hawai’i currently transplanted to Oregon
Multitalented: Is also a graphic designer, illustrator, and production tech
Adrian F. Wassel – Editor
Name Recognition: Is the CCO & Editor In Chief of Vault Comics, and edits Vault's titles
Also runs Vault with his brother and father
Seems to work very closely and intensely with comic creators when developing stories
Tim Daniel – Writer
Multitalented: Also does all the design work for Vault Comics
Inspired by others in the business: Sonia Harris, Sean Phillips, and Fonographics
Dream Team: Co-wrote Curse and Burning Fields with Michael Moreci
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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