What a fantastic time we live in. Not only are we getting our childhood dream of seeing superheroes team up on the big screen but we are also receiving fantastic comics that are not purely based on muscled machine men but on strong powerful women.
It’s a thing that’s happening perhaps better in comics than in blockbuster movies currently. Women are written to be ambitious, courageous and strong. Rocket girl is one such character.
It’s 2013, New York City. A major corporation called “Quantum Mechanics” have made technological advancements way ahead of the time. With this technology they have gained control of the government. It has become clear to some of the NYTPD (New York Teen Police Department) that this mega corporation has committed crimes against time and now someone needs to be sent to 1986 where the “time crime” apparently took place.
Eager and ready is fifteen year old Dayoung Johansson (Rocket Girl) who takes on the one way trip with determination but often questioned by her peers.
On her arrival to 1986 Dayoung has to learn quick that everything she thought she knew about the law, respect for police, and human rights is different. She must adapt quickly to the trials around her while keeping her mission on the forefront of her mind.
The art by Amy Reeder is gorgeous and shows the two timelines in glorious detail. From the neon lights and flying cars of 2013, to the dirty and raw look of NYC in 1986. Some of the panels and art are depicted across two pages with precision that allows the reader to focus on the art while still following the story.
Things are not perfect however, though the story is exciting there’s a number of pages that don’t give anything fresh to the story. You could argue it gives colour, but the great characters and themes do that already.
We get to know quite a few supporting characters from both time lines with a personal favourite being Commissioner Gomez. In the effected 2013, people don’t trust adults. They find that lying and deception and contempt are traits often seen in those over the age of 30, so all the police are teenagers. Commissioner Gomez frequently shows traits ahead of his age but you occasionally get glimpses of him being a teenager at heart.
Age hasn’t stopped them being impressive and that’s what made Dayoung a fan favourite amongst readers. She maintains a level of innocence and ignorance that is missed in some adults.
The idea of “teen police” sounded silly to me, but after reading the first volume of Rocket Girl I see what writer, Brandon Montclare was going for… fun. In 1986, many people didn’t have respect for police, so Rocket Girl’s presence there gives civilians someone fresh to look up to. Minor political plot points aside, from the first page to the last, fun was the central theme.
If this comic wasn’t on your wish list, it should be. It’s characters are great, the themes are an enjoyable read and it leaves enough there to give the future of the series some leg room. I can’t wait to see where things go.