Story By: Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr
Art By: Babs Tarr, Cameron Stewart
The former Batgirl of Burnside team is back with their own original story. Motor Crush, published by Image, is a sci-fi coming of age story starring Domino Swift, a motorcycle racer in the futuristic city of Nova Honda, with a dark secret that could bounce her out of the big leagues. So far the themes seem to be a little heavier than what we dealt with in Batgirl, but the team balances tone and exposition with expertise.
The title becomes self explanatory as we learn that Crush is in fact a performance enhancement drug for the bikes themselves. Really. A bike can get addicted to Crush and even overdose. How this works exactly isn’t explained yet, and I think that’s for the best. When you introduce weird ideas like that, it’s a good idea to spoon feed explanations rather than overload your reader with an info dump. And I'm not really sure any kind of pseudoscience wouldn't just make drug addicted machinery any easier to swallow. They just do, and let's roll with it.
Crush is rare and is made by “the producers” who protect their creation ruthlessly. They hold illegal drag races between street gangs in which Crush is the prize. Swift participates in an effort to score the stuff, even though there are safer ways of scoring. Why she feels she needs it, well…let’s not spoil too much of the story.
The art really makes this book for me. The future is bright and colorful, even Crush is an attractive bright pink. Often in comics I have to criticize fashion choices, as many youthful characters dress in a way that no youth would. But Domino looks great. Even if this is the near-future, her jacket and even casual wear is exactly the kind of thing that is fashionable now, just with a more futuristic edge.
I also love the layout of the book with the social media overlay giving exposition. I have a feeling Uri’s death is more than just a means to explain how Crush works, but the memorial notification cracked me up. It’s a clever way to bring the readers up to speed while also giving us an idea of where the tech level is in this world. It’s very familiar, but a little more advanced and a lot more invasive than what we have now.
I think if the art wasn’t so good, I might be more lukewarm on the story itself. It’s an intriguing set up, but this is issue #1 so we haven’t gotten into the nitty gritty or have an idea of where this thing is going just yet. But Motor Crush is just so darn cool looking. I don’t know where we’re going, but this is a ride you want to hop on.
Megan “Spooky” Crittenden is a secluded writer who occasionally ventures from her home to give aid to traveling adventurers.