Idol Worship in She Could Fly 1

by Drew Baumgartner

She Could Fly 1

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Is familiarity the opposite of idolatry? I suspect it’s only possible to idolize a celebrity or public figure because they’re unknown. Because we’re unfamiliar with their annoying habits or bad smells, we mythologize them as some kind of immaculate demigod, incapable of error. It’s easy to come up with a certain political example, but this is true for most public figures, from Elon Musk to Taylor Swift. We only know so much about these people, and in the cases where we like them, our brain rushes in to fill the rest with perfection. This is obviously the case for Luna Brewster, who has pinned her imagination to a mysterious woman seen flying over Chicago.

That much in the solicit was enough to hook me, but writer Christopher Cantwell and artist Martín Morazzo amplify the idol worship in two key ways.  The first is that Luna Brewster’s greatest weakness is her familiarity with herself. There’s no explicit diagnosis, but her visual and auditory hallucinations suggest some form of schizophrenia, the extent of which she’s keeping to herself because of their violent nature. Most importantly, she’s absolutely terrified of those hallucinations, fearing that she may harm her family or other innocent people. So the sudden appearance of the flying woman offers her almost the opposite of herself. Or, at least a body on which to project the opposite of herself. Luna sees the mystery woman’s flight as the ultimate freedom from the burden of her thoughts. Thoughts that encroach even on those fanciful dreams. After imagining flying with the mystery woman, Luna is pulled back to her lowest point:

Luna's hallucinations

The devastatingly inescapableness of her reality only enhances the allure of the flying woman.

But then Cantwell and Morazzo introduce their other twist: the flying woman explodes, abruptly cutting short any dreams of meeting her or even finding out more about her. It drives Luna to the edge — without the hope of the flying woman, she’ll surely hurt her family — and she seems poised to take her own life when she discovers a clue to the flying woman’s identity. Suddenly, she has a new purpose in life. It’s a purpose that promises to put her in the path of both the on-the-lamb physicist and the company he worked for who might just be responsible for that woman’s flight in the first place. All of which gives Luna an unusual goal with unusual obstacles, but will learning more about this woman help or hurt Luna? Does she need the myth, or does she need answers? I don’t think even she knows at this point, which is what makes this premise so fascinating.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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