Review: Motor Crush #1

motorcrush-01_cvraEvery so often, when we’ve all begun to settle on our year-end best of lists for comics, a new number one comes along in December that shakes up those lists and causes you to happily go back to the drawing board as a reviewer. Bitch Planet #1 was that comic in December 2014 and now Motor Crush #1 from Image Comics is that comic for December 2016.

I got an early look at Motor Crush back in September when the creators Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr hosted a panel about the comic and gave away an ashcan that included the first half of this issue. While I was majorly impressed with what I saw, it didn’t really occur to me that I was looking at what was still a work in progress.

Between what I saw in September and what is being released on shelves has definitely been polished up. A new, cleaner lettering style from Aditya Bidikar and colorful designs from Tom Muller that are meant to immerse you in the world of Nova Honda completely. Fresh pastels from Tarr and added narration gives a way better sense of who Domino is as a character.

A lot of what you can expect from this first issue is learning about our hero Domino Swift. Inspired by Willow Smith in both terms of look and attitude, Domino is a tough and headstrong young woman with a lot of promise and a lot more secrets. Some that will even leave you gasping if the end of the first issue is any indication. However, Team Motor Crush does a good job at making her and her struggles rather complicated and nuanced instead of going straight for “brooding hero with a secret.” Plus, that wouldn’t match the bright neon setting of Nova Honda anyway. I seriously want to know how a book of ink and paper manages to actually glow the way this issue does.

I recently compared Mother Panic to the comic series The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys in terms of pace and tone, and I was nearly ready to do the same for Motor Crush. However, that isn’t true. It’s more like the album companion My Chemical Romance released three years prior titled Danger Days. Frenetic and joyful even in the darkness, Motor Crush is about finding your place in the world and trying to survive set against a futuristic backdrop of motorcycle racing. While the first issue is mostly set-up, it refuses to let off the gas as you follow Domino along on her journey and the jolt of the ending leaves you wanting another ride as soon as it is over. You owe it to yourself to take a ride with Motor Crush.

Story: Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr Art: Babs Tarr
Story: 9.0 Art: 10.0 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Graphic Policy was provided with a FREE copy for review