Our merry band of adventurers gets stuck in space and in backstory in issue 3. Is it good?
Joyride #3 (BOOM! Studios)
Picking up from the last issue, the team is stuck in a nasty part of space, a place that’s been quarantined and is guarded by a very defensive robot called the Protex. The girls elect to go out and try and repair the damage to the ship, but almost immediately the Protex blasts them off and into the planet’s orbit. Only it’s not a planet–it’s a giant lifeform that not only wants to eat their brains, but sucks them into a shared memory of each of their pasts.
Inside the ship, Kolstak and D argue whether to abandon the girls (Kolstak) or to try and save them (D). In the end, Robot ends up saving the day by convincing the Protex to examine its existence and fly away, allowing them to get past and save the girls. But not before Uma learns the truth about who Catrin really is, and their relationship may never be the same.
Is It Good?
Since I enjoyed the first issue of Joyride so much, I had really high hopes for the book ongoing, and overall, it’s living up. The action, the art, the fun tone are all still there. My big issue is there tends to be big gaps and leaps in the story that are never addressed. For example, in this issue we have Kolstak, who started issue #2 with threatening Uma, then joined the ship. All we know about him is that he’s a Wanderer, but now apparently he’s an expert on ship repair, and so is Catrin for that matter. The rapid changes in character are problematic as well–in the first issue, Catrin was the perfect, focused soldier, just like D’s brother. But she seems to have given all that up pretty quickly to wander the universe with this group. This attitude would make sense in maybe issue 7 or 8, but seems awfully quick for issue 3.
I’m also not sure I buy the tragic backstory for why Uma is so hellbent on being so reckless and contrary. Issue 2 made her kind of infuriating–this issue isn’t nearly as bad, but she’s still extremely impulsive. And D’s blind acceptance of her recklessness is also very confusing. I assume that as we learn more about this society and how it is shaped, more of this will make sense. But right now it’s just giving me characters that I want to shake some sense into. This may be an old lady, get off my lawn reaction, but Uma is bordering on manic pixie dream girl territory and I hope this improves.
However, I still love the snappy dialog, and the art and colors are sharp and fun. And despite my nitpicks, this book is definitely enjoyable and fun to read. The bit when Protex gained life goals and zoomed away made me laugh out loud. But my standards were set very high at the outset, so I’m just left a little wanting.