Comics: She Said Destroy #1 (2019) - Reviewed

Vault Comics will be releasing She Said Destroy on May 29th. The science fiction meets fantasy story is being marketed as The Wicked plus The Divine meets Star Wars, by way of Final Fantasy. With a synopsis that is name dropping such epic classics, and as a lover of both fantasy and sci-fi, my interest was certainly piqued when I received a copy of She Said Destroy

I will be honest, and say I found myself struggling with this review. I typically enjoy reading and reviewing works that cause some type of emotional response, whether good or bad. It’s fairly simple to gush over something you love as it is typically easy to rip apart something you hate. While reading She Said Destroy, my overall feeling toward the story was that of indifference.  Though there were no glaringly harsh flaws, I also couldn’t find a way to connect to the story, characters or even the plot.  The entire premise is simple. Brigid, Goddess of the Sun has conquered the entire solar system and required utmost loyalty and worship from her conquests. There is a single space colony that has yet to be touched by Brigid’s grasps and they are seeking a rebellion with the help of Brigid’s sister, The Morrigan, who also happens to be the Goddess of Death. As the Goddess of Death, The Morrigan has one talent that allows her to have a possible edge in her fight against such a strict monarchy, her talent of destruction.  

A story with such a plot certainly has it in it to be a wonderful epic fantasy. Saga, for example, is one of my favorite comic storylines and has done such an incredible job combining science fiction and fantasy with powerful, emotional writing. Writer of She Said Destroy, Joe Corallo, seems to have done a lot of research within the genre, as the book seems to have gained inspiration from several clear sources. While in my opinion, Saga is certainly one of them, the overall space fantasy feel certainly is reminiscent of Star Wars, which according to the synopsis provided by Vault themselves, is what they were going for. That said, I found the characters difficult to emotionally connect with. In a story where dynamic characters are essential, even all powerful Sun Goddess Brigid felt very flat and one dimensional.  Unfortunately the story felt more like a nod to the genre in general than it did a new memorable story. Although it was just the first issue, and I don’t like writing something off entirely after just one issue, I do not feel anticipation for the next issue like I was hoping to.

Artist Liana Kangas has a very appealing youthful vibe to her art in this series. While the overall style may not be my own personal favorite, there is something to be said about the combination of her whimsical art and colorist Rebecca Nalty’s bubblegum pastel color palette. The warm and charming effect allows this comic to gain a reader’s attention, particularly a younger audience. The emotional balance of the characters struggled in both the writing and the art. While I realized I didn’t connect with the characters through the writing, I maintained hope that perhaps the art would give me the connection I was seeking. Unfortunately I just didn’t notice a lot of heart or emotion being conveyed in the characterization in the art either. I certainly wanted for and expected more from She Said Destroy, but the first issue definitely didn’t hold my attention or leave me anticipating the next issue. Overall, I was disappointed with it. 

As interesting and cool as I think it could have been, the first issue was considerably underwhelming. As I said earlier, the comic was not terrible or a huge mess like some I have read, it just left me feeling completely disinterested.  I believe the focus needs to be shifted away from creating just another fantasy steeped science fiction series that is remaining seems to just be capitalizing on successes of more notorious pieces, toward something new and exciting; something that will allow it to have its own sense of identity. I am on the fence about reading the next issue currently. I typically don’t write off a comic after just the first issue, but there is a lot of good, competitive content out there and I think She Said Destroy will suffer from this if they don’t up the game. 

--Rachel Rutherford