Image comics have served up a slice of classic story here.to give you an idea of the work that Brandon Montclare (writer) and Amy Reeder (artist) have created I need only copy the text from the first page…
This kind of attitude resonates throughout the story. It’s well thought out, which it has to be because at its heart it’s a time-travel story…
Volume 1 opens in the present, 1986. I know, it’s already confusing. A group of scientists have created an amazing new machine, the Q-engine.. which, as far as I can tell, we are never told what it does. Anyway, as they turn the machine on, it explodes, and out of the explosion a young girl appears. Purporting to be from the year 2013 and a member of the New York Teen Police Department she promptly tries to put all the scientists under arrest and then collapses.
Flash to 2013, now the past.where we learn more about Dayoung Johnson, the eponymous Rocket Girl and her reasons for heading back to the 1980s. We learn about the mega-corporation run by grownups which are so untrustworthy that the young are employed to police them, and about the shadowing conspiracy they (the grownups) are planning.
Cue lots of jumping between the past (future) and present (past) and it all gets a little confusing, with the story appearing in chunks set in both times (actually there are a couple of past, past where we learn about what happened in the build up to the 2013 incident – but I can’t wrap my head around the correct tense to use to describe that..)
It is well written, and the story is interesting enough to make you want to read on and work out which time events with some interesting characters. The idea of a future cop travelling back in time is a well used trope in science fiction, because it works. In this case, the idea of a cop from a technologically advanced future who can fly with a personal rocket pack dropped, entirely unprepared, into the mid-1980s is very good, and holds a special place for those of us who grew up in the ’80s..
The artwork is great, with flourish and style that works well for both the vibrant 1980s palette as wll as the more futuristic world of the past (future). There are little nods to popular culture in the present (past) from piano key ties, to graffiti on subway trains. The action scenes feel full of motion and the art work really helps to add to the feeling of paciness the story has.
I have enjoyed this and will be looking out for the second volume when it arrives in the library, as I am sure it will (I expect plenty of requests for the story to continue from those who have read this as part of the Excelsior Award)