With a healthy dose of misdirection, New York Teen Police Department Detective Dayoung Johansson manages to escape more than one spot of trouble, only to miss the fact that she may be mislead herself on the very crux of her mission. Opening up a whole new world of questions, Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder’s “Rocket Girl” gets great when the going gets tough. “Rocket Girl” #3 does its leading lady a great service with careful character development, the expansion of its limited point of view, and its gorgeous, lovingly wrought art.
While a bulk of the first two issues revolved around Dayoung and her firm resolve, “Rocket Girl’s” third issue benefits from an expanded point of view. Not only does this device up the stakes of Dayoung’s mission, it steps back to further develop her as a flawed, human character who is just coming to terms with reality in addition to providing a spunky, well-intentioned lead. The narrative really plays with Dayoung’s naivete here, showing that — while her drive to do good really defines her as a protagonist and a dedicated cop — it has a few serious drawbacks as well: though endearing, her impetuousness and stubborn gusto have landed her in a world of trouble. Regardless, she is clever, loyal, and committed to her cause. Through spot on development and a subtle narrative shift, Montclare delivers a well-rounded, complex main character who has real chemistry with her readers and her supporting cast.
Montclare has a few other fantastic moments throughout the issue, including some intriguing new mysteries and many well-executed transitions. The supporting cast gets just enough page time to give the reader a glimpse into their personalities, while he fits in fun, action-packed moments like Commissioner Gomez’s confrontation with Quintum Mechanic’s goonies; all of this comes together organically for an overall enjoyable read. However, as time travel stories are wont, some of the narrative time jumps and references to the past can get a little confusing as there is no clear indication of dates and times following a few of the transitions.
While Montclare crams a lot of information into this story, Reeder lovingly renders each scene in her stunning style and colors. Montclare’s world pops with Reeder’s electric colors, while Dayoung stands out against detailed backgrounds in her white uniform in both the past and future. Dayoung’s thoughts leap off the page through Reeder’s careful pencils, conveying complex emotions like determination, righteous anger, and exasperation through her facial expressions and posturing. What’s more, Dayoung’s small figure in comparison to her supporting cast reminds the reader of just how young she is in the grand scheme of the story. The action is fluid; the futuristic technology, clever and inventive. Reeder’s character designs are wonderfully diverse, expressing distinct personality traits through outrageous, creative clothing styles that feel appropriate to both the characters and the respective time periods. She infuses humor and drama in the story with evident, unbridled enthusiasm.
“Rocket Girl” has taken off in a wonderful direction with its third issue. With clear voices, brilliant artwork, and all-around fun, this series continues to wow in a fantastic new way. Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder are making the future here with their zany, wildly inventive series.