A teenage time cop gets sent back into the past to stop a catastrophic event in Rocket Girl #1, an American comic book with its roots in Japanese manga.
Dayoung Johansson, 15, hails from a future where teenage innocence is the best qualifier for becoming an officer. Though New York looks much shinier, something corrupt lurks under the facade, and Johansson takes an assignment that will send her back to 1986 just as Quintum Mechanics discovers its revolutionary breakthrough.
For Dayoung, it’s a chance to do something amazing. For the scientists and employees at Quintum Mechanics, it’s something out of this current world. For the rest of the world? It looks like things will be a little complicated.
While Dayoung begins to make herself comfortable 27 years in the past, and Annie — the scientist hosting the young officer — tries to figure out what’s going on, police scanners pick up a crime. Blasting into action, Rocket Girl proves she’s a formidable police officer who can handle her own in a fight with grownups.
It’s a solid introduction piece that moves briskly with kinetic and frenetic action. Amy Reeder’s name comes first on the cover, and it’s apparent that the art drives this story. Reeder’s characters are expressive, and the body language is on point. Pages are filled with movement, and though the shots are static, the story contained within them is not. When Dayoung gets into a scuffle with the NYPD, she shows off her acrobatic skills, pulling off some incredible maneuvers. It’s fluid and professional, and Reeder has her work cut out for her going forward because she’s going to have to match the intensity of this issue.
Each of the panels looks thought out. Composition is dramatic with artful storytelling that falls back on Brandon Montclare’s scripts. Montclare won’t be outdone by Reeder’s art, and though the premise is a little — how you say, farfetched — it’s a lot of fun that’s worth the suspended disbelief. Reeder and Montclare don’t care if readers believe the story on a microscopic level because it bursts out of the gate. Anyone sitting out this ride may find themselves missing out on something that’s both entertaining and nostalgic, and there’s enough substance to keep things compelling.
The comic that started as a Kickstarter project looks polished, cool, and fun. There’s something about the attractive and slick visuals that makes Rocket Girl a success waiting to happen. Rocket Girl looks like a passion project with invested creators who are willing to take a huge share of the work. Reeder pencils, colors, and letters the book. As serious as some time travel stories are — Rocket Girl looks like it’s playing the field with humor, a bit of mystery, and some straightforward adventure. It’s a blend that has great potential, and it’s worth checking out.
Rocket Girl #1 (2013)
Writer: Brandon Montclare
Artist: Amy Reeder