Brandon Montclare

Rocket Girl 7 (November 2015)

Rocket Girl #7It’s probably too soon to say Rocket Girl is back. A lot of it seems back, whether it’s Reeder’s artwork (amazing as always, like Blade Runner meets The Rocketeer for kids), or just how much Montclare gives Dayoung to do. She’s the hero and she needs to be treated as such.

Once again, the comic toggles between past and future. Well, present (1985) and past (2025 or something). The future stuff really isn’t interesting. Montclare doesn’t give the teen detectives any character beyond playing with cop and young adult stereotypes. It feels like a lame cartoon.

But the past? The past is just amazing, at least this issue. One of the nicest textures of it is how Dayoung isn’t just stuck in a time before teen detectives, but she’s in a culture different from the reader as well. I’m not sure how well Montclare does with it (I wasn’t a teen of the eighties), but it reads fine. Though who knows how much Reeder’s art affects it. The comic wouldn’t work without her.

Rocket Girl needs her.

CREDITS

Now What?!; writer, Brandon Montclare; artist, Amy Reeder; publisher, Image Comics.

Rocket Girl 6 (May 2015)

Rocket Girl #6Something’s not quite right about Rocket Girl this issue and it took me a while to figure it out. Montclare’s starting a new arc, but he hasn’t given Dayoung anything to do as Rocket Girl. She’s got flashbacks to adventure, but in the present, the problem is that she’s not the teenager her new caretakers are expecting.

Big surprise. She’s from the future. And after opening the issue with Dayoung extremely focused and strong, Montcare ends it treating her like a child. It raises a question about the series and how it will go on–is the reader supposed to spend time wondering about whether or not Dayoung’s capable of non-teenager thinking.

Because, if so, the comic doesn’t read as well. It reads as trite YA stuff, not rollocking, witty adventure.

Also odd? Reeder doesn’t get anything interesting to draw. Maybe some of the future stuff. But not much.

CREDITS

Split Second; writer, Brandon Montclare; artist, colorist and letterer, Amy Reeder; publisher, Image Comics.

Rocket Girl 5 (May 2014)

Rocket Girl #5Rocket Girl ends its first arc with an explosion, not a bang. Meaning, there's an explosion in the issue, but Montclare doesn't do anything too outlandish with the story. He wraps up the cliffhanger from the previous issue, with DaYoung discovering the populace is willing the help her. Reeder does a great eighties shopping scene with it.

Then there's some resolution for the future stuff and the laboratory stuff. Montclare does a big WarGames homage, which doesn't make too much sense since the series isn't set in 1983 and there was cable and VHS so it's not like it'd still be playing in the theater. But, who cares, since Reeder does such a fabulous job with the eighties New York stuff.

As for the arc's finish… it's mellow, thoughtful. There's a nice action scene, but the way DaYoung works things through and her revelations about her situation makes it special.

CREDITS

Time Will Tell; writer, Brandon Montclare; artist, colorist and letterer, Amy Reeder; publisher, Image Comics.

Rocket Girl 4 (March 2014)

Rocket Girl #4
I had been a little worried about Rocket Girl but everything is back on track this issue. There’s the 1986 scientists realizing they’re Cyberdyne, there’s the future detectives realizing they don’t know what’s going to happen, there’s Rocket Girl on the run from guys from the future.

Those bad guys from the future turn out to be about the only problem with the comic. Montclare goes for a plot connection he really doesn’t need. The way he paces the series, it’ll be quite a while before he gets to it and it’s not good enough to wait on.

Otherwise though, all of the plot moves are fantastic. There’s some great dialogue from the scientists and the future scenes go further in making the teen police department more believable. All they needed was to get boozed up, apparently.

Reeder’s art for the issue is phenomenal. The action scenes, settings, just phenomenal.

CREDITS

Nowhere Fast; writer, Brandon Montclare; artist, colorist and letterer, Amy Reeder; publisher, Image Comics.

Rocket Girl 3 (January 2014)

292160 20131231112324 largeUh oh.

The thrill is gone. Not entirely. But definitely partially. Not just in the writing either….

Montclaire does some funny cop interrogation stuff, but then goes into a lengthy flashback. In it, he reveals corruption in the future and plans within plans. It’s a lot of exposition and it takes a while before Montclaire reveals the point–it’s when Dayoung (the lead) goes into the past.

For some reason it all reminds of Highlander II and it’s never good to remind of that film.

There are no eighties references here either. Montclaire no longer gives the settings enough flavor, which only fits since Reeder is rushing along too. The art this issue is rough, like Reeder didn’t pay enough attention to detail. It’s only the third issue and both creators are losing their footing.

Somehow the joy is gone. Montclaire and Reeder unintentionally lose the series’s joy. Very sad.

CREDITS

Double Reagent; writer, Brandon Montclare; artist and colorist, Amy Reeder; publisher, Image Comics.

Rocket Girl 2 (November 2013)

288933 20131113145220 largeIt’s too fast a read. Once Montclare gets to the flashback, which is set in the future–it might take up almost half the issue–he rushes. Flashbacks lend themselves to expository summary and Montclare takes that bait. Filling in the reader about the evil corporation isn’t just not as interesting as Rocket Girl’s adventures in eighties New York City, it doesn’t look as good either. Montclare isn’t giving Reeder much to do in that future flashback.

But even too fast, it’s a good read. The character work Montclare does is good, the humor’s good, the art’s amazing. And one compliment for the future part–Montclare is able to sell the teenage cops thing. It seems like a teen movie friendly detail to make Rocket Girl sell better to Hollywood… but Montclare makes it work.

The finale is a great foiled convenience store robbery. The comic’s a lot of fun.

CREDITS

Objects in Motion Tend to Stay in Motion…; writer, Brandon Montclare; artist and colorist, Amy Reeder; publisher, Image Comics.

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