Reviews: Air Force Blues

The Las Vegas Arc

Shortly after Leia joins the squadron, she and Barbie head off to Vegas for TrainingmumblemumbleAirForcemumbleJargon—oh, who cares why!—and Hilarity Ensues. This arc features Leia heading out on a solo sortie to a strip club, getting hit on by OSI, and getting in a catfight. And the squeeing of the male readers could be heard from space.

I picked up Air Force Blues after the conclusion of this arc, but a reference to the Vegas trip had me clicking through the back issues. If you have never read the strip, and don't want to start from the very beginning, this arc is an alright place to do so, though I suggest starting here, with Leia's introduction.

By the time these events roll around, Leia's "ditz" persona has been toned down considerably, and I was actually a little sorry to see that. Fighter pilots are deemed Acceptable Targets in this strip, and the fact that she got the same satirical treatment as Barbie and the other male pilots actually did a lot more to make her One Of The Boys than if Farva had tried to deliver some big Aesop about how "Girls can be pilots, too!"

The great part about this arc (and AFB in general) is that there are tons of esoteric Air Force-culture jokes and memes, but the writing is clever enough to make them accessible to people who have no exposure to the military or military culture. (i.e. Anyone can guess why a cross-country to Vegas is a "red flag" to the Air Force investigative services.) Also, Farva neatly dodges both Unfortunate Implications and runaway Political Correctness, making Air Force Blues refreshingly cringe-free reading.

All-in-all, the Las Vegas Arc is typical of the strip: a witty and affectionate satire of Air Force culture.