In a brand new series from BOOM!, two non-compliant teens decide to make a break from a dystopian, fascist future Earth by stealing a spaceship. Is it good?
Joyride #1 (BOOM! Comics)
Meet Uma and Dewydd, teens living on an Earth where a giant shield has been built from the Moon surrounding the planet. This “SafeSky” is supposed to protect Earth from alien threats, but Uma thinks that it’s just a tool to keep Earthlings in.
Uma has a plan to escape and she’s taking her best friend Dewydd with her (I suspect Dewydd would rather be more than friends).
As their plan springs into action, there’s a hitch – an unsuspecting true believer Private with a high-born pedigree gets sucked along with them.
Is It Good?
In theory, I should hate this book – in some ways, it feels like it’s trying too hard, to be cool, to be fun, to be exciting. But it not only works, it totally succeeds in all those areas, and in charming me as a reader. It embraces a retro space adventure vibe, with gorgeous art/design by Marcus To. He gives his usual aesthetic a touch of manga, giving his characters’ facial expressions and action scenes an extra pop of excitement. This vibe is only enhanced by Irma Kniivila’s stunning colors:
The result is like Speed Racer mixed with The Jetsons and some Avatar: The Last Airbender thrown in for good measure (the cartoon, not the abomination of a movie).
The story and characters are more typical: beautiful, impetuous teen girl who longs for escape, the boy who loves her but is afraid to tell her, the military believer who will become one of the gang in the end. And a robot! Even their names are archetypes: Uma Akkolyte and Dewydd (I had to sound that one out in my head – dude. Got it). But Jackson Lansing and Collin Kelly are playing with these tropes to tell a fun story with humor and action at its core. What would suit a YA space adventure better? I especially like that we have two women in the gang, which hopefully will avoid the pitfalls of a typical love triangle.
I have to give a shout-out to Jim Campbell’s awesome lettering, particularly near the end when a new character comes into the story. The way he letters those lines is perfect.
So I’m in. I love a book that isn’t afraid to have a little fun, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.