The height of war. The climax of violence. The peak of persecution in the name of righteousness. It all comes to a head in She Said Destroy #3. It’s fast paced, suspenseful, and easy to jump into at anytime. She Said Destroy is the kind of story that gives you as much as you’re willing to put into it. You’re thrust into a massive universe with seemingly limitless possibilities and then positioned on the front lines of an intergalactic religious war. It’s scary, intense, and a little mystifying. Winona, Raul, and Iris are right beside you and there’s no time to lose. The light knights are here and you’ve got decisions to make.
Brigid’s quest to hunt down the last of Morrigan’s worshipers has the potential to be an endless one. All it takes is one powerful, devoted follower to keep the faith alive, and Morrigan’s followers sure are devoted. Nevertheless, as the eternal struggle continues, this chapter can be characterized as a test of faith. The remaining Morrigan followers have little time to decide how to fend off the light knight invasion and escape. The tone has gotten a lot more serious since the first issue. Before, there was a slightly casual attitude because threat was just out there in the vastness of space. Now, it’s in their own backyards. The characters are a lot more anxious and on edge, but they’re so indecisive that the book continues to suffer from extreme decompression. Raul is trying to apologize to Winona, Iris is trying to persuade Winona to make a decision and manipulate them into channeling the Morrigan, and Winona is just caught up in all of it whether they want to or not. It’s a bit difficult to read what’s going on with these characters, but that’s how it should be. There’s a lot of complexities in relationships between individuals who have know each other for a long time, and the ebbs and flows of each character’s mood feel natural. It’s a testament to Corallo’s phenomenal character writing. There’s a lot of grounded emotion and heart even with the fate of the universe on the line. Corallo, Kangas, Nalty, and Ujimori are able to impressively maintain this level of emotional tension throughout a myriad of genres. The core messages of faith, kinship, and heart stitch together a powerful narrative quilt. We’re already done with She Said Destroy #3, and thing are looking grim, but it isn’t over, not by a long shot.
This issue is designed in a very strange manner. You’d think that the light knight invasion would lead to primarily action sequences, but there are actually a lot of conversational moments. The dialogue is meaningful and speaks to the importance of both making a decision and being their for a friend a time when you really have to question if they can afford to be talking about either. The stakes are high, but the kinship and time to reconcile is always there. Kangas’s line work is very dynamic in this issue. She sometimes draws your attention to the beautiful landscapes that decorate a world about to be attacked drawn with clear, crisp, and rigid lines to make it stand out. Other times, the backgrounds are drawn more amorphously so that more attention is placed on the characters. Both styles work well and flow seamlessly. Nalty’s colors are equally magnificent. The color palette is much more varied and contains brilliant accents of fiery oranges and reds to demonstrate Brigid’s increasingly looming power. It’s also interesting that there’s almost no blood or gruesome imagery despite a fair amount of violence in every issue. Everything is colored in lavender in periwinkle instead of being riddled with blood. The creative team seems to want to draw attention away from the violence and towards the cause.
For those knowledgeable with almost any religious text, you might be familiar with tests of faith. It’s a common element in an religious text and further proof that the creative team is commenting on religious themes that go beyond just Paganism. Some elements are definitely played very safe, but Corallo, Kangas, Nalty, and Ujimori are still able to tell an effective story whilst treading carefully. Corallo’s dialogue comes from the heart and cuts through the bullshit politics that can sometimes plague wars like these. If there’s some emotional manipulation going on, you’re going to know about it. Brigid calmly and politely guides her subjects to cause absolute destruction. There are a lot of mystery elements the the world building and how weapons and powers actually work. It makes you question whether it’s a lack of world-building or a deliberate attempt to distill each issue down to core themes and raw emotion. The many vs. the few, the devoted vs. the fearful, light vs. dark, and calm destruction vs. violent beauty.
That being said, it’d be nice to see more of the world in any capacity or learn more about any elements of the characters that we often see ourselves standing beside. Some elements are shown through Ujimori’s simple but brilliant lettering. You can often tell the importance of whomever’s speaking by the color and outlines of their word balloons. In reality, however, the entire story has an elevated level of importance. Kangas’s lines are as quick and sharp as the narrative, and she does a really good job of letting the colors breathe. There are plenty of large, mystifying panels that spark wonder without sacrificing tension.
She Said Destroy #3 continues to raise the stakes and suck you despite a lack of detailed world-building. Instead, the issue remains thematically and character focused centered around people and ideas you can really get behind. You don’t know a whole lot, but that’s okay. Especially when the big final reveal has the potential to break this story wide open.