‘Joyride #1’ Review
written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly; art by Marcus To; colors by Irma Kniivila
Here is an interesting book. Described by its creators as a “punk rock teenage Star Trek,” this is an original idea from Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly. It’s set in a possible future where the entire world is ruled by one government. A shield has been erected around Earth to protect it from an alien attack that the government claims is coming and uses it to keep its citizens in order. So far, so fascist. Our main protagonist, Uma disagrees. Luckily, she has a plan.
Uma is an extremely well-written character. She’s sassy, sarcastic, and rebellious but rather than try to change the establishment, she plans to leave it. That forms the basic premise of this, the first of a four issue limited series. Along for the ride is her best friend Dewydd and security officer Catrin Cosanova. Dewydd plays like that best friend character in a John Hughes movie. You know the one; he has a crush on our main character that goes unfulfilled so he just kinda follows her around and does everything she says. Compared to the other two characters, he’s a little under-developed but I have a feeling he’ll come into his own over the following three issues.
Private First Class Cosanova starts out as your typical by-the-book security officer. She’s just following orders and trying to capture the other two as they attempt their daring journey to the stars. But Uma sees in her a sense of wonderment and curiosity. This kind of character development is what makes people read comics. They’ve created a personality here that will evolve starting with what has been established in issue one and I look forward to seeing where they take her character.
The art is sublime. Marcus To’s line work and Irma Kniivila’s colors complement each other perfectly. It’s interesting to note that while To’s backgrounds are nicely detailed, it’s the panels where there is no background, only flat color, that really stand out. There are quite a few of those in the comic and they give it a dynamic look and really draw your eye to the main focus of the panel. Extra credit has to be given Marcus To for the facial expressions on the characters. Without dialogue, you could look at their faces and know what their mood is or what they’re saying and that’s really important—even more so when you consider how dialogue-heavy this story is.
Not that excessive dialogue is a bad thing. Here, it is so well written that you just want more. In some respects, it reminded me of the kind of dialogue that Joss Whedon or Kevin Smith might write. It’s smart and funny.
As a start to a four part limited series, this book is such a great kick-off. It’s enjoyable, has great pacing, nothing seemed redundant and the characters are endearing, for the most part. I look forward to the next issue and should the creators wish to turn it into a continuing series, the possibilities are endless. Bring on issue two!