Graphic Novel Review: Air: Letters From Lost Countries

(Titan �9.99)

THE first few issues of any new comic series need to be able to capture the reader’s commitment and attention to keep them coming back for more, and Air certainly achieves this objective. However, whether that is more through a genuine interest in the story being told or a frustration in the lack of answers to the many questions posed by the narrative is debatable.

Flight attendant and acrophobe Blythe finds her world turned upside down when she encounters an exotic traveller who traverses the globe under an assortment of different identities. As she finds herself falling in love with the mysterious Zayn, she becomes caught up in the machinations of a brutal anti-terrorism cult, and on a quest for the forgotten country of Narimar, which disappeared from maps during the 1947 Partition of India…

What starts off as a series unquestionably grounded in the reality of a post-911 world rapidly introduces supernatural and fantasy elements which encompass everything from giant feathered serpents and ancient Aztec artefacts which could solve the world fuel crisis, through to giant floating sky cities and the return of doomed pilot Amelia Earhart…

Like the TV show Lost, the series is layered with question after question, and this first volume answers very few of them. Writer G Willow Wilson is an Islamic American author known for her work on modern religion and the Middle East, but has a nice flair for comic book writing which is complemented by strong artwork from MK Perker. Whether there’s enough here to sustain an ongoing narrative remains to be seen, as subsequent books are going to have to start do more than just ask further mysteries if the story is going to proceed in any sort of positive direction.

An interesting debut volume, and worth persevering with, but let’s hope Wilson starts delivering on some of the promises established here in future instalments.