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Air 2: Flying Machine

1/12/2010. Contributed by Gareth D Jones

Buy Air 2: Flying Machine in the USA - or Buy Air 2: Flying Machine in the UK

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Air 2: Flying Machine by G. Willow Wilson and M.K. Perker. pub: Titan Books. 128 page graphic novel. Price: GBP 9.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-84856-882-2.

check out websites: www.titanbooks.comand

‘Flying Machine’ is the second volume collecting together the comics from the series ‘Air’, a fantastic and complex story from G.Willow Wilson that combines adventure, surrealism, steampunk, SF, romance, espionage and thrills in a non-stop tale that travels the globe. The first volume, ‘Tales From Lost Countries’, which I reviewed last month, starts off in the ordinary world of air stewardess Blythe, before darting off into alternative worlds and bizarre happenings. ‘Flying Machine’ drops us straight in to the middle of the adventure, with a floating city, Aztec technology, cracks in reality and mysterious agents from even more mysterious agencies.

The plot seems in constant danger of become too far-fetched, but the basic grounding in our real world, with plausible-sounding connections and brilliantly created characters, always keeps it on an even keel. There are flashbacks and dream sequences, extraordinary happenings in other realities and seemingly ordinary things happening in airports, but all have a part to play.

Air stewardess Blythe, the main protagonist, is well-rounded as a character and well illustrated throughout, giving a real sense of connection to us the reader as she struggles to make sense of what is happening to her. Her facial expressions play a priceless role in adding to the emotional impact of the story. Full-page illustrations sprinkled through the book show off M.K. Perker’s talents more fully and provide valuable punctuation for the narrative, allowing a moment to reflect on the story so far.

The plot progresses more slowly in this volume, to allow for lengthy flashbacks that illuminate some of the mystery. I was left with the frustrating realisation that I don’t yet have volume 3 waiting on my shelf.

Gareth D. Jones

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