Updated: Oct 2, 2019
Writer: Joe Corallo Art: Liana Kangas Publisher: Vault Comics
She Said Destroy, Issue #4, cover, Vault Comics, Corallo/Kangas
WHAT IS IT?
She Said Destroy is a semi-allegorical hard sci-fi/fantasy about the Christian church’s persecution of Pagan beliefs and practitioners. It pits the hidden utopia of the Fey against the openly hostile forces of a goddess turned apostate against her own kind in a measured and selfish act of long-term survival.
It’s hard to know what to compare this to, as She Said Destroy is very much its own animal. It benefits greatly from a unique story idea coupled with Liana Kangas’s own unique art style. Think of it perhaps as The Battle of Hogwarts from Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows as a very early George Lucas student film.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Winona lives in the world of the Fey, a gifted and powerful witch who is often obliged to withhold or hide her talents so as not to alienate her friends or inspire them to jealous pouting. The world of the Fey is watched over by its own deity, The Morrigan, though many have lost touch with their witchy warrior goddess. However, the goddess’s sister, Brigid, has not forgotten and has embarked upon a journey of ultimatum, to offer conversion or destruction to all who do not embrace her as sovereign and object of their worship.
Treading the cosmos aboard her starship, the Inspiration, Brigid commands an army of Light Warriors who themselves traverse from orbit to turf on lightwaves, rather as one imagines a person might surf down the length of a rainbow.
Ultimately, She Said Destroy is a bit of an underdog story, illustrating with more modern science fiction and fantasy optics the real-life battle between Pagan religions—Wicca, in particular—against the ever growing global dominance of the Christian church. If Joseph Stalin was correct and “the death of one is a tragedy,” while “the death of millions is just a statistic,” SSD seeks to find faces within the statistics to relate a deeply human tragedy fought by non-humans in an inhuman realm.
Issues three and four continue that drama and set the chief protagonist, Winona, in even direr straights as she learns that even her own people have been manipulating her circumstances to gain their deity, The Morrigan’s favor and imposition in the final battle for supremacy against the betrayer and usurper, Brigid.
Where a lot of allegory tends to come off with all the grace of a fertilizer pipe bomb, I was well into issue #2 of this series and looking ahead to three before I even picked up on what was going on.
Liana Kangas’s artwork is subtle, unique, and harmonizes beautifully with the undertones of the narrative.
About that style, it is realistic enough to not be a cartoon or pastiche of Paganism or Christianity. Moreover, it leaves a lot of room for Rebecca Nalty’s solid color shapes and pastel tones to take soft, psychological hold and guide the reader gently through even the roughest story patches.
Colors definitely emerge as a character in the story. Lighter green and violet tones set the protagonists apart from the fiery red warriors of light.
Lettering hits that sweet spot of letting the artwork shine by not forcing the reader to overemphasize the written narrative. Good lettering should always be noticed in hindsight, and Melanie Ujimori absolutely KILLS IT with unobtrusive lettering that never calls too much attention to itself.
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
Wonderfully simplistic though the art is, it is perhaps a little too simplistic to carry over the violent underpinnings of the sporadic fight sequences throughout.
Atmospheric and linear perspective in the artwork sometimes fall a bit flat. The story follows a small enough group of characters to not be confusing, but at the same time, it’s often difficult to see or imagine the world of the Fey being inhabited by more than the handful of characters we regularly see there, in that large cityscapes often look or at least feel largely uninhabited.
Subject matter is perhaps a bit esoteric for some. However, as presented, it does at least make the leap toward universal appeal.
Like many “Chosen One” type storylines, there are elements of cliche here that could leave a reader predicting a potentially predictable outcome. (Given that the series has yet to conclude, I don’t want to make the assumption that there won’t be a subversion of expectations in the final chapter.)
She Said Destroy, Issue #4, page 3, Vault Comics, Corallo/Kangas
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
Fans of Pagan and Church history will find much here quite enjoyable, as will any enthusiasts or practitioners of the magickal arts. She Said Destroy is a very approachable and accessible sci-fi romp that doesn’t ask much (apart from intelligence) 0f its readers and definitely delivers on some very thought-provoking points and perspectives.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Oh S#!t It's Kim & Kim by Magdalene Visaggio & Eva Cabrera
The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie
Wailing Blade by Rich Douek & Joe Mulvey
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 – Designer
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
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