Wingspan claims to be a work of hyperfiction, meaning it should be made up of sections that can be read in any order without diminishing the work as a whole. However this is clearly false. While the sections do not have a single defined order which is the only one in which they makes sense, there are two guidelines that can be used to avoid chronological contradictions.
- Everything except gurl definitely comes after lostwings
- Alley comes after Storm
One of the main themes of wingspan is passive redemption, aka the idea that suffering cleanses the soul. The main character, Jewel, is the angel of kindness, until she has her wings ripped off and is thrown from heaven near the end of lostwings because she gave something to a dying boy to comfort him and he became so attached to it he almost couldn't enter the kingdom of heaven. This theme is embodied in the character of the Archangel Michael, whose prime role in story is as the angel of redemption and punishment. He considers the pain he inflicts to be a Necessary Evil and his duty. However after enjoying the ritual he preformed on Jewel a bit too much, he begins to question the second of these pillars of his moral justification.
The second main theme of wingspan is realization of the need for, and risk of, personal involvement in the jobs of both Michael and Jewel.
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This work provides examples of:
- As the Good Book Says...: Jewel quotes the Song of Songs as she dances before Micheal.
- Archangel Michael: He's quite sadistic, and somewhat of a nutcase.
- Ax-Crazy: Michael.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Of the Black and White Morality variety.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Michael to Jewel. Jewel later pays him back for this.
- Combat Sadomasochist: Michael.
- Depraved Bisexual: Michael.
- Fear of Thunder: Jewel is scared of storms, including thunder.
- Gorn: Someone's rib gets ripped out.
- Hearing Voices: Jewel hears a female voice trying to convince her to fight back against Michael. Later she hears another telling her to be patient and Michael will be delivered into her hands.
- Laughing Mad: Jewel starts laughing hysterically as she swings from a broken wrist after she has been crucified. Subverted in that she is not, and does not go, insane.
- Long Haired Prettyboy: Michael.
- Magic Music: Jewel's pain song.
- Mind Screw
- Minimalist Cast: We have Jewel, the main character. Michael, the villain. And Rimi, who only appears in the chapter named after him. The only other important character is the unnamed boy who caused Jewel to be cast out of heaven.
- Painting the Medium: Pages in Micheal's Point of View are white text on black background, probably to indicate his darker nature.
- Perspective Flip: Some pages are retold from Micheal's perspective. Fittingly, to indicate this, the screen changes from black text on white background, to white text on black background.
- Revenge / Pay Evil unto Evil: Michael tortures Jewel, so she tortures and rapes him.
- Took a Level in Badass: Jewel goes from cuddling a teddy bear under a bed during a thunder storm to beating up Michael, though it helps that drinking her blood weakened him.
- Too Kinky to Torture: Michael really seems to enjoy Jewel's torture.
- Winged Humanoid: Not the typical white winged angels. They have white wings yes, but this is in addition to their many other sets of wings, which are different colors and made out of different things.