COMIC REVIEW: Taking Flight

There is not a better time to live in the UK if you like comics. There is so much choice and variety from the indie scene, all top quality. In the blossoming superhero section there is Grant Springford’s The Abnormals to Martin Eden’s Spandex to Daniel Clifford’s two projects Sugar Glider and Halcyon and Tenderfoot. Furthermore Glasgow, producing such talents as Grant Morrison, Frank Quietly, Jamie Grant and Mark Millar is a creative hub for comics with John Farman’s The School of the Damned, Gordon McClean’s No More Heroes, John Lees’ The Standard, OR Comics’ Villainous, Team Girl Comic and even web comics such as Gordon Robertson and Cuttlefish’s Arse Cancer and Colin Bell’s Jonbot and Martha.

To many this might already seem a busy area where there is little room for more. Yet Stephen Sutherland and Garry McLaughlin manage to prove that this is completely wrong with their stunning one shot Taking Flight.

Taking Flight is a simple enough concept: it is about a man getting superpowers. Yet they manage to bring an intriguing twist that makes it all the more worthwhile reading. Set in an alternate Glasgow where people have powers, we follow one man’s journey into understanding how to use his power of flight. I have read many an alternate universe take on how a world similar to ours would work if there were superheroes (I have written one myself). Sutherland and McLaughlin bring something new to the table and at the end of the day something even more interesting: something very British. The history of the last eighty years or so is a fascinating journey that the reader will adore being taken down on. One of the main strengths of this story is that it is a coming of age, going full circle. We see the characters develop and change and we understand why.

Newcomer Sutherland’s dialogue is natural and works well with the story. He manages to make you care for these characters even though you have only known them for twenty or so pages.

McLaughlin’s art compliments the script perfectly providing many a stand out moment. The opening scene is a joy and the symmetry later on in the story works very well. What is more, the final couple of panels in the book are well presented, allowing the reader to fill in the gaps where they should. Further his innovation with panel structure really adds to the story such as where we see a panel as if we were looking at it from a smart phone.

In a crowded area, some may not have seen the place for another indie comic but Sutherland and McLaughlin’s Taking Flight proves that is far from the case. A truly fresh and innovative take on the superhero story, illustrating that the UK and in particular Glasgow is the place to be for comics at the moment.

GS Rating: 4/5
GS Reporter: Luke Halsall

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One comment

  1. Thanks for the review Luke, glad you enjoyed it! If anyone wants to buy the comic, check out: for more info, where it’s available on pre-order. Comes out on 9th April.

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