By Jarred A. Luján — She Said Destroy, a sci-fi/fantasy hybrid comic by writer Joe Corallo and artist Liana Kangas is back with its third issue this week. This has been one of my favorite titles on my pull list since its debut, so I’m going to preface my review with simply telling you how excited I was for this book.
One of the best parts of She Said Destroy as a series is that it completely leans into the fantasy/sci-fi mixture. It makes no apologies or explanations towards the world it exists within, it simply gives you that world and then proceeds to play by its unique rules from the start. This is a galaxy with starships, gods, armor clad Light Knights, and witches, and it presents them all in a natural way. It also feels so immediately immersive that every time you open the book, you just get kind of sucked into it.
It’s that natural immersiveness that sets up some of my favorite scenes in the series so far. The team has pulled off the hybrid genre so well, that when you see the Light Knights and the Morrigan’s witches battling for the first time, you get to see what actually plays out like a collision of the two genres. Plotwise, it seemed inevitable, and with its execution, you realize right away that it was just a really great way to see the two sides of the genre coin meet. With that said, this is such a fun issue. From gods taking vessels to a commander going overkill, the book really feels like it’s kicking things up a notch each time a new chapter makes its debut. There’s some big set-ups at the end for what’s to come, but I think it is safe to say that stuff is about to be destroyed (see what I did there?). Listen, I know that I’ve made it clear that I’m a Liana Kangas fan since my interview with her, but this book is just so good to look at. Liana has such a unique and definitive style. There are great visual moments here, but I want to point out the one that I loved the most: the face melting panel.
The reason I love this panel is because it so, so brilliantly feels like a shock. The violence in the book has been kept relatively tame, and the shock of seeing two skulls with the screams in the background (shout out to letterer Melanie Ujimori who RULES) lands perfectly. I’ve seen other reviews refer to the color art in the book as neon-pastel, which I think nails it. So, when this panel, in the midst of the neon pastel tradition of the series, suddenly shifts to a foreboding, violent red in the middle, it only adds to the level of shock. This scene is a big turning point for Gareth, a Light Knight leader who is, let’s say, less compromising than his boss, and ultimately it has big implications for the latter part of the storyline. So, pulling this particular panel off in such a perfect way is vital to the story and reader experience. I know this is a lot for one panel, but this is a great testament to the vast qualities that art teams add to narrative experiences and why comics are such a unique medium.
Anyway, I love this book.
Overall: From the fusing of genres to the plot to the powerful artwork, I’m not sure what else you can ask for from comics. If Vault is looking for another ongoing series, they don’t need to look much further than She Said Destroy. 9.0/10
She Said Destroy #3
Writer: Joe Corallo
Artist: Liana Kangas
Colorist: Rebecca Nalty
Letterer: Melanie Ujimori
Publisher: Vault Comics
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Jarred A. Luján makes comics, studies existential philosophy, and listens to hip-hop too loudly. For bad jokes and dog pictures, you can follow him on Twitter.