If you were at Dragon Con this year, you might have been wondering just who that lovely looking lady with the nail studded cricket bat on your badge was. The answer to that is Domino Swift, the protagonist of the upcoming Image Comics series Motor Crush! While Domino was all over roughly 77,000 badges this past Labor Day weekend, an even smaller number got an early look into Motor Crush on Saturday afternoon when the panel took place.
Fans of the Batgirl of Burnside will immediately recognize the creative team behind Motor Crush. Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr are continuing their work as a unit with this new book that’s being released on December 7. In fact, this book has been in the works for some time, with the three of them starting to talk about revamping an old pitch Fletcher had done for Oni Press back in the early 2000s around the time issue 3 or 4 of Batgirl had come out.
In fact, the team admitted that one of the reasons they had started work on Motor Crush around then is that they were told that Batgirl might only run six issues due to impending cancellation. We know now that isn’t what happened, but the team did decide to walk away from Batgirl to work on this series. No hard feelings between them and DC though. They’re proud of their work on the series (even if Frankie didn’t get to be Oracle) and had nothing but nice things to say about DC editor Mark Doyle.
As for Motor Crush though, we’re about to see a whole different animal from Stewart, Fletcher, and Tarr. Described as “Bad Bitches, the comic” by Tarr, the story follows up and coming Domino in a world where motorcycle racing is the primary form of entertainment. However, at night, she’s running a great risk to herself, her family and her career by competing in illegal and violent street races for something known as Crush, a “machine narcotic” used to boost engines in races. At the start of the series, one driver has already died in a crash from it. So the main question of the series becomes why is Domino competing for it?
Fletcher, Stewart and Tarr hope to answer that question over the course of the series, which should run for at least 15 issues, if not more! The series is much more cohesive between the three of them, with Tarr contributing a lot more to the plot as well as doing her own colors while Stewart has been confirmed as the letterer for the series along with layouts. Tarr is also taking a more traditional route with the art this time, using a mix of traditional and digital art for the series along with hand lettering sound effects. She says being able to ink traditionally has helped her a lot in her creative process by allowing her to not spend all day on her computer noodling with one particular line.
What’s this more cohesive process between the three of them been like? “We argue a lot,” Stewart responded, only half-jokingly.
Still, that arguing must be paying off. As a special treat to the attendees of the panel, the three gave away copies of the #0 issue, which is technically the ashcan of the first half of #1. The setting of Nova Honda, which was inspired by both the good and bad parts of Rio de Janeiro and the colors of Miami, is lush and colorful and what little we get to see of the characters so far, they’re a delightful and intriguing bunch. The Willow Smith influence on the way Domino carries herself is especially felt.
As for the series itself, not only will it deliver set up in the first arc, but the first five issues will include a prologue to Fletcher’s other Image series Isola, which is also being helmed by Gotham Academy co-creator Karl Kerschl. Fletcher describes the series as being very Miyazaki-esque and violent, but in a different way from violence of Motor Crush. “It’s brutal to your heart and less to your face,” he said on the panel.
I’ve been intrigued by Motor Crush since its announcement, but the Motor Crush takeover of Dragon Con has definitely had me wanting more of the world of Nova Honda. Between the enthusiasm from the creators and the first ten-page bite given to us, I cannot wait to have more of this high energy, bad bitches on bikes book in my life.
As for the badges, I don’t know who was more excited: Tarr for seeing her art everywhere or me telling strangers about Tarr and Motor Crush.
Motor Crush comes out December 7 and can be pre-ordered through your local comic shop. (Definitely get on that because as he said on the panel, Stewart is trying to buy a house.)