STORY BY: James Robinson
ART BY: Greg Hinkle
Publisher: Image Comics
Oh boy. Oh, wow. You can always tell how enamored I am of a book by the number of complete sentences I start with.
Airboy had me at issue number 1. It was so depraved that I was hooked instantly. I just love seeing people running wild and messing stuff up and being general messes. Makes me feel better about my lifestyle. This is a dirty series. Every page has graphic but beautifully artistic depictions of dicks, drugs, and depression. This series is just debauchery!
Issue two sees the story progress into something outside of this bro-mantic bacchanal. I would have been perfectly content to just read issue after issue of creators Robinson and Hinkle’s messed-up autobiographical (?) tales but in this issue we get better acquainted with the one point of light and purity in this whole story thus far: the eponymous Airboy himself. Poor guy. One has to sympathize with this WWII pilot’s shock of going from glory and heroism to a directionless world where people obliterate themselves with drugs out of boredom because there’s nothing to fight for. Airboy doesn’t comprehend our world. People and buildings are run down and barely dressed. “What have I been fighting for?…Why am I bothering, if no one cares?” Poor innocent Airboy. The conflicts between him and us are really interesting to see played out. Why did we discard our once-beloved Airboy? How did we change so drastically; become so jaded and bored and self-destructive? I was really mind-buggered by the juxtaposition between Airboy’s very real and urgent sense of duty and purpose and the creative duo’s seemingly directionless existences. How could these three possibly understand one another?
“Airboy” is great. It is ugly, hilarious, sad, and strange. I’m really looking forward to the rest of this series.