IDW Publishing 2017
Written by Brian Clevinger
Illustrated by Lo Baker
Coloured by Anthony Clark
Lettered & Designed by Jeff Powell
A group of Women Airforce Service Pilots banded together after World War II and became the daring "Flying She-Devils." Food and fuel are in short supply, but the She-Devils have a plan: take it from Mad Jack, the pirate king of the Pacific. What could go wrong? Also a never-before-seen short featuring THE SPARROW!
Maybe it’s the interior artwork but this comes off as a really cute all-ages kind of book that just happens to center around a group of women who are basically now airplane pirates. How often do we see that? Well airplane pirates for starters and then add in the women part and suddenly this takes on a very real individuality and uniqueness that’s incredibly fun! Who says everything has to be this ultra-serious looking, feeling and oh so dramatic story, not me and certainly not these folks!
So the girls have a secret base on She-Devil Island and it all has this really great vibe that reminds of The Blackhawks. Then take that and combine it with how you feel watching old Indiana Jones and you begin to fully understand the appeal this series has. There’s that inescapable sense of anything can and will happen and yet through all the danger and thrills things will end up being okay in the end. It’s not rational because they are essentially pirates and there’s the danger that someone could get killed on a mission at any given time but that’s part of the charm here.
The way the story unfolds and the characterisation is presented show off Brian’s writing skills. I like the way he introduces us to this series and the characters. I like the way we see the tenacity and ingenuity of the girls in different circumstances as well as how the whole way this story really gets under way. The set-up is smart and entertaining and the flow of the book is easy and relaxed I have to say it’s pretty darn impressive.
The interiors here are strong and fun as well. I love the kind of all-ages feel I get from them and yet there’s still some nice attention to detail and the characters all have their own unique individual look and feel. The use of page layouts through their angles, perspective and even use of backgrounds is fun and kind of flirty. It’s expressive and there’s no mistaking the feelings and emotions of the characters.
I’m not normally one for this kind of cutesy all girl power type of book but this is seriously charming and kind of genre defying. The fact that the girls are who they are and do what they do is the glue that holds all this together. I can’t wait to keep learning more about them, how they came to be here and have the background explored. There’s a whole world here that is introduced that leaves you wanting to know the full story.
The second feature is one during World War II and features a spy by the name of Sparrow who is a courageous British agent. Deadly and capable and not afraid to put herself into the mix, plus she speaks German always a bonus when trying to take out Nazi’s!
IDW keeps expanding what we think of them being known for with series like this. I say keep it up!