Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Rocket Girl, Volume 1: Times Squared Review (Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare)

Rocket Girl is Dayoung Johansson, a 15 year old cop from the future (2013) travelling back in time to 1986 to stop evil corporation Quintum Mechanics from committing crimes against time just as they invent the world’s first time-travel machine. And, yes, she has a rocket pack! 

It seems like a simple enough plot, right? And then I started thinking about what I’d just read and nothing made sense! Why are all cops kids in the future? Because “you can’t trust a grown-up” apparently, which is ridiculous! Kids are idiots! I wouldn’t trust a kid anymore than I’d trust a grown-up but chances are the grown-up has a more thoughtful perspective due to maturity and isn’t as likely to go crazy in a position of power. Remember European history when teenagers were made kings or princes? They all went nuts, completely abusing their power! Or even Cartman as a cop and, you know, Lord of the Flies? 

I’m a fan of Damian Wayne and most of the Robins so I’ll give them a pass on making Dayoung an impossibly kick-ass kid ninja who just happens to have a rocket pack. But come on, Batman’s a grown-up - you’re telling me no adults could do what Dayoung does where she comes from? 

What exactly have Quintum Mechanics done to be cast as the Big Bad in the story? A), they’re a corporation, and b) their board members are shadowed so you can’t see their faces. That’s really as shallow as it gets. We never actually see them do anything evil. There’s a hint that they used their time travel knowledge to make it so their corporation made mega bucks but chances are, if you’re able to literally create working time travel machines, you don’t really need to steal money, you can basically print your own currency from then on! 

And then of course it’s a time travel story with all the bullshit that entails...

So what is the comic? It’s Rocket Girl rocketing around 1986 New York fighting punky criminals and making the cops and the public go all moon-eyed at her antics. Meanwhile her bland scientist buddies (one of them has candy floss for hair, that’s about as far as their personalities go) rush about trying unsuccessfully to keep her under wraps. It’s all so pointless, boring and repetitive. Brandon Montclare can’t write for shit. 

But Amy Reeder’s art… oh my. How beautiful! Every page is stunning. I love Rocket Girl’s design, I love how she draws the pointless chase and fight sequences, I love the vibrant colours, I love the artwork so much. I hate that it’s in service to such a sub-standard script - Reeder’s talented drawing was the only thing that got me through this volume! 

As fantastic as Reeder’s work is, I don’t think it’s enough to recommend this comic. The script desperately needs to be more focused with certain plot points explained more clearly - you’ve gotta engage the brain as much as the eyes! Rocket Girl is a fun idea and character shoe-horned into the most awkward plot possible. She’s a Rocket Girl - and I think it’s gonna be a long, long time before it gets good!

Rocket Girl, Volume 1: Times Squared

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