Who’s ready to rev your engine for some futuristic motorcycle action? With a premise as fresh as this, it’s hard not to want to take a ride, but is it good?
Motor Crush #1 (Image Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
The team behind the critically acclaimed revamp of Batgirl returns with an exciting sci-fiction-adventure series! By day, Domino Swift competes for fame and fortune in a worldwide motorcycle racing league. By night, she cracks heads of rival gangs in brutal bike wars to gain possession of a rare, valuable contraband: an engine-boosting “machine narcotic” known as Crush. Featuring Part One of ISOLA: PROLOGUE by BRENDEN FLETCHER and KARL KERSCHL!
Why does this book matter?
This is the creative team behind the highly acclaimed Burnside Batgirl run (Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr) so we’re going to be getting that magic. Plus it’s a highly original series–it’s not a superhero story, but rather an action sci-fi tale about futuristic motorcycle racing and the things people do to stay competitive.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This is a very tight first issue that deftly introduces the characters, mixes in a touch of what the world is like in the future, and is pumped up on action-steroids. The creative team comes through with a visual feast in a variety of ways too, not least of which are the graphic captions by Tom Muller which gives the digital captions a futuristic feel that do well to fill you in on the world outside of the protagonist.
Speaking of which, Domino is an easy character to like, even when some seedy elements start to be revealed. She’s young and ambitious, and annoyed with the social media requirements the future fans require. When some hardcore, violent street racing takes place you’ll love her even more.
The street racing is great fun and reminded me of the Road Rash videogames. The bikers and their respective gangs are colorful (complete with cool bios straight out of a video game) and eclectic. The action in these scenes is intense, especially with the use of a streaming translucent light source as if the bikes are streaking on film. The textures here and throughout the issue make the somewhat cartoony art style feel gritty and real and that only adds to the stakes of the situations.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The general premise may fall into a few tropes we’ve seen a thousand times before. The good guy doing the wrong thing for the right reasons sort of deal, which reveals Domino isn’t the most robust of characters, at least at this juncture. Besides her ambition and the lengths she’s willing to get the things she wants we don’t know much about her.
Is It Good?
Motor Crush is an exhilarating new series that feels incredibly modern and complex while delivering the action of a street fight. If you dug Road Rash growing up you will love this.