Monday, June 10, 2013

Review - Rocket Queen and the Wrench #1

Superheroes do have families, believe it or not. It may be that they're comprised of one hero and non-heroes or the entire family has the superhero in their genes. Superhero families offer a twist on the familiar family dynamic, especially when that family copes with change much like that in Rocket Queen and the Wrench #1.

The series is written by Justin Peniston, illustrated by Ramanda Kamarga, colored by Rainer Petter and lettered by Jacob Bascle.

Jamie Baldwin is on the cusp of graduating elementary school when, for some strange reason, his rescue is necessitated and executed by Captain Zoom, Rocket Queen and Lady Kamikaze. That's all well and good, but things don't go so well for Jamie in the next few years, as he gets into more than his fair share of trouble, his parents appear to divorce and the strongly hinted matriarch of a superhero family passes. Jamie's stay with family friends for a summer proves to be much more than summer school though and my provide clues as to unraveling the mystery of the Darians.

There have been many superhero families in comics and all of them showcase some form of the family dynamic in their interactions. Peniston has made Rocket Queen and the Wrench #1 no different, offering some good banter between father and daughter that comes with that relationship. The story feels a little disjointed though, as the first part essentially sets up the heroes, the middle bridges the gap in between (and adds tragedy) and the last part brings the focus back on heroes. The timing seems a little off though, forcing the reader to think a little bit as to how the events have progressed.

Kamarga's art is solid. Fans of the Scott Pilgrim art style will find some similarities between the two works, with the characters more cartoonish than superhero. There's a lot more focus on characters in the book and less on settings and backgrounds, which works perfectly fine. The panel layout is fairly standard, with Kamarga relying on typical rectangles and grids to outline the action.

Rocket Queen and the Wrench #1 is an interesting first issue with a slightly off-kilter timeline. Superheroes are on full display, although it's a little unclear as to why Jamie is such a hot property. He's got the full, teenage angst thing going on, but by the looks of things, the series will take him down a dramatically different path when it's all said and done.

Rocket Queen and the Wrench #1 is available now via comiXology.


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