“Try Something New.” That challenge is the whole reason for this feature’s existence. Month in and month out we buy the comics we know and love, the ones we look forward to every time but there are countless series that travel under our radar, ones that we just don’t give a chance and get passed by. That’s why I made a vow: every week I’d pick up an issue for a series that wasn’t on my pull-list in the hopes of finding a hidden gem. Welcome to Off The Shelf where we’ll discover if my leap of faith paid dividends this week. Also, I should mention that there be SPOILERS in this review. You are warned! ________________________________________________________
Rocket Girl #1Publisher
Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder
Prior Experience With Title
None, but I’m in the same boat as pretty much everyone else since this is a brand new property. All I knew was that it concerned a young girl/cop who possess a rocket pack and travels back in time. Also, this series started as a Kickstarter project which was successfully funded.
Why Did I Give It A Shot?
I loved the creative duo’s previous work on the one-shot Halloween Eve last year so I owed it to them to try out this new series. Reeder’s art is always fantastic so I at least knew I was going to get a very pretty book regardless of the story.
We are immediately introduced to Dayoung Johansson, a 15-year-old cop from the future who travels back in time to the year 1986 in order to save the world from the villainous corporation known as Quintum Mechanics. She emerges in the past from the explosion caused by the initial test of the Q-Engine by the 1986 Quintum Mechanics team, informs them that they are under arrest, and then collapses in exhaustion. We (flashback?) to 2013 where Dayoung pleads her case to her Commissioner saying that Quintum Mechanics is dirty and that they have used time travel to firm up their market position. After initial reluctance, Commissioner Gomez relents and allows her to travel back in time to stop them and that transitions us back to 1986. Dayoung is fixing her rocket pack, which was damaged in the trip through time, and upon successfully repairing it she jumps into action after hearing a call on the police scanner. She flies off to help the local authorities who don’t know what to make of her. She demands a situation update from the two officers on the scene and they relate to her that a detective has been shot and his shooter is hiding in the nearby arcade. She proceeds to go inside and easily takes care of him but her good deed is met with the officers trying to arrest her as well. She easily eludes them and binds them with their own cuffs before the 1986 Quintum Mechanics team arrives on the scene and offers to take her away inconspicuously from the scene. She gets in the car, dead set on accomplishing her mission to end the issue.
Dayoung Johansson: My name is Dayoung Johansson. I’m 15 years old and a cop from the future. I’m going back in time to save the world…I just hope I’m not too late.
Commissioner Gomez: Do you know how big Quintum Mechanics is? They’re everything.
Dayoung Johansson: Everything. Including dirty.
O’Patrick: What Dayoung is saying, sir, is she can make the case. There’s an informant. A member of Quintum Mechanics’ Board of Directors–
Commissioner Gomez: Really?! Who?
Dayoung Johansson: I don’t know. They won’t come forward, but they’ve been feeding my inbox with all kinds of info–
Commissioner Gomez: You don’t know because no one knows. The identity of Board Members is kept a trade secret.
Dayoung Johansson: But they are somebody. And nobody is above the law, Commissioner.
Commissioner Gomez: Twenty-seven years ago this city was a cesspool—the Big Apple was rotten to the core. It made the Wild West look like Woody’s Roundup.
Dayoung Johansson: I get to fly. It’s why I joined the NYTPD. I used to lay in bed thinking all about it. Trying to make sure that when I fell asleep I’d be rocketing through my dreams. Force it. Focus. Fantasize real hard and hope when your eyes shut you don’t know the difference. It usually didn’t work! My concentration would drift off…no matter how I tried, when my head got up in the clouds I couldn’t control what came next. But right now…? Right now I’m living the dream.
Dayoung Johansson: How’d you guys find me!?
Annie: I don’t know about where you come from, but around here a flying girl in Times Square is big news on the radio.
Dayoung Johansson: They don’t get it…not yet, at least…but maybe I can help them understand…before time runs out.
Final Verdict: If Dayoung is looking to take down Quintum Mechanics why is she seemingly aligning with them? Is she trying to change them from the start instead of bringing them down? I’m sure we’ll learn more about her mission as time goes on. The art was awesome, as expected, which in itself is reason enough for me to come back but hopefully the story can match the excellent visuals. Thusly, I’m going to Add It To My Pull-List.