Originally a Kickstarter and published by Common Sense Press/Pocket Jack Comics, White Lily #1 is now out courtesy of Red 5 Comics. Adapted from the screenplay by Preston Poulter, White Lily #1 tells the story of Lydia Litvyak, a Russian fighter pilot during World War II. The series is a fictionalized take on Litvyak’s history but it gets the basics right of a Jewish woman who became a fighter ace (one of two women who hold the title) and the most kills by a female fighter pilot.
I know the basics of female fighter pilots during World War II, and mostly around the famous Night Witches. Specific pilots is a new subject for me and it appears Litvyak is a hell of a one to start with.
Poulter takes us from her early days focusing on her talents as a pilot and her penchant for showing off. To say she was talented was an understatement and she was one of the best pilots at the time. She was very much a female Maverick from Top Gun, and that includes buzzing the tower.
But Poulter also sets the ground of who she is as a person as well. We get the larger than life aspects to her but there’s also small details of her focus on her feminity. In a field dominated by men, she was all woman, dying her hair and never not being who she was. Some of that is juxtaposed with her friend Katya, also a pilot, whose mother claims that “only dykes become soldiers”.
Poulter also keeps reminding us the future star pilot of Russia is Jewish. With a Star of David proudly worn, we’re reminded that Litvyak is fighting for a country that doesn’t like her religion. Her father was also taken away as an “enemy of the people”. But, she’s motivated to fight the Germans and do it for a country that has caused her family such heartache.
The art by Lovalle Davis is solid. There’s some choices of turning the page for layouts which is a bit unexpected and hurts the reading flow. But, the sequences might not have worked as well vertical unless they became two page spreads. The art pops though with a lot of detail that helps tell the story or sucks you into this time period. Davis is helped by Alonso Espinoza on color and lettering by Taylor Esposito is spot on as expected. Esposito nails the dialogue lettering, especially with the challenging fighter sequences.
White Lily #1 is a solid comic that introduces you to this bit of history. The fact it is is something I wish was played up a bit more but as it stands, the debut is an entertaining read. Hopefully, it spurs the googling I found myself in to learn more about White Lily and we’ll see where the series takes the story and how much it shows of Litvyak’s life. It’s a nice mix of entertainment and history.
Story: Preston Poulter Art: Lovalle Davis
Color: Alonso Espinoza Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Story: 7.75 Art: 7.75 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy
Red 5 Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Amazon – Kindle – Zeus Comics