Review by Frank Plowright
She Could Fly is not a series to read for cheery comfort, as Christopher Cantwell is positively sadistic in putting his lead character Luna Brewster through appalling events. Still there’s some hope shown to begin Fight or Flight?, as after the events of The Lost Pilot Luna, now eighteen, has undergone brain surgery for her conditions, but resents her parents for sanctioning it. She claims to be happier now, yet disturbing opening pages tell a different story, and for anyone who’s followed the series from the start it’s a tragic beginning.
While Martín Morazzo brings out the sadness on Luna’s face to accompany her disjointed musings, he also surrounds her with beauty, even in the most ordinary circumstances. Colourist Miroslav Mrva seals the effect by keeping the colour scheme bright, contrasting the downbeat narrative.
Surgery or repression has blotted some of Luna’s memories. She remembers some people, but not always her relationship to them, while her subconscious still fixates on the Flying Woman. Except now there seems to be someone else flying. A terrible sadness permeates the entire story. Luna’s confusion touches a nerve, and Cantwell spares no-one associated with her as the fallout spreads wide.
Fight or Flight is very clever, the best of the run, poignantly written and superbly drawn. Cantwell pulls logic from chaos and support from regret in taking a very individual approach to the idea of an action outing. Because Luna narrates everything, and she’s been so thoroughly established as fractured, there’s a layer of unreality to what otherwise could be mundane or clichéd, and Cantwell constantly surprises, even when leading to the possibility of a redemptive ending.
The feeling is that reading all three books of She Could Fly as a complete story would reveal the whole as better than the sum of the parts, but standing alone Fight or Flight is a compelling drama, beautifully drawn and likely to prompt a tear or two.