After a lengthy hiatus, Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder’s stylish series “Rocket Girl” returns to shelves with a new story arc. The comic book, which introduces another mystery to Dayoung’s world, is a great character piece for her and her grad student caretakers, but only serves to introduce new story pieces which will most likely come together later in the arc. For now, though, readers are treated to a fun, if slightly disjointed, read.
The present day plot is both very fun and a great introduction to the cast. It’s a mostly quiet day for them, except for a fistfight at a food cart during a street fair, a scene Montclare plays for laughs. This allows Dayoung the chance to flashback to the future, knowing who these people are and who they will be, and how she herself was far more brash when she first donned the jetpack in 2011.
Reeder’s art is like candy for the eyes, a cornucopia of spectacular layouts, dazzling colors and gorgeously styled characters that make this book look unlike any other on the stands. Each page draws in the eye with considered shot choices and panel sizes, the action flowing from one page to the next with flair. Annie’s fight is a highlight as Reeder’s art accentuates the emotion and physical action going down. Montclare gives readers the flipside of this impetuousness, as Dayoung thinks back to a time when she flew off the handle in a similar manner but with far darker and more violent results. Reeder’s colors help score the mood for each page, from the underlit and menacing future fight to the blurred landscapes in the flight sequences to the day-glo fluorescent 80s. Everything about the visuals of this book just screams “COOL.” As Dayoung runs crying from the mystery woman, the beats are highlighted across a double page spread that focuses in on the most important things happening in that moment. The panels peak and valley as Dayoung’s emotional state jumps all over the place, giving the reader a sense of unbalance as they journey across the page. It can’t be said enough: Amy Reeder is an art superstar.
Though she is a teenager, Dayoung has some maturity and insight beyond her years, simply a product of growing up in the future. He also lets her have her own teen moments of know-it-allness and high emotion as a new woman is introduced to the plot, someone Dayoung is familiar enough with that it brings tears to her eyes. No doubt the creative team can unwrap this mystery in the chapters to come, but little information is given here. Parts of the narrative feel pushed together, which can happen in art-driven books like this one, with the internal dialogue and plot eschewing straightforwardness for style. It’s not a bad choice but may confuse newer readers curious about this awesome looking book.
Though it does have a few downsides, “Rocket Girl” #6 is still a highly entertaining and gorgeous comic. Anyone interested in getting on the ride before it takes off again should strap in.