Review - Joyride #1 (@BoomStudios)

"One world. One government. One destiny."

There's an inevitability to space being explored and settled at some point in the future. After all, it's such a vast expanse that the bigger question is where to go first. Way down the line after settling a few planets, it's likely that human dynamics will change for both the better and the worse. Joyride #1 from BOOM! Studios looks at a change for the worst, but some manage to find a silver lining. The issue is written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, illustrated by Marcus To, colored by Irma Kniivila and lettered by Jim Campbell.

In the future, Earth sucks. The stars have been blocked out for so long that people have forgotten there was anything else besides the dumb World Government Alliance watching over them, training children to join the militarized Allied Youth and eliminating all resistance with a giant ray gun. Uma Akkolyte is a girl who shoots first and leaps before she looks, and when she gets a strange message from outside the barricades of SafeSky, she jacks a spaceship and punches through the stratosphere with an unlikely crew of teens who are totally not ready for what they’re about to find.

Joyride #1 benefits greatly from the relaxed approach taken by Lanzing and Kelly. The dialogue seems to want to aim for an all-ages appeal, but one that's got a little more sass to it. There are constant references to the way things were Lanzing and Kelly draw upon to really bring the reader further into the relatively stifled reality the characters are forced to contend with on a daily basis. And those characters are written with plenty of attitude that's not overbearing at all; instead, it lends more entertainment value to the plot. Lanzing and Kelly pace the issue very well, giving the reader enough to digest without being overwhelmed.

To's illustrations evoke thoughts of 80s animes. There are a lot less in the way of mechs for sure, but the characters are defined by sharp, clean lines and effective shading that reinforces the notion that the book essentially takes place in space. The panels don't really follow a set format either in a way that gives the book a wide open feel befitting of one that's set in space. To illustrates the sense of kinetics in space very well, primarily through characters interacting with one another with a sense of weightlessness about them. Kniivila's colors do a great job of helping to give the reader the full context of the setting--from bright, vivid oranges for planetary life to darker blues for scenes in space.

Joyride #1 offers a tale that capitalizes on the series' namesake well. Uma is pretty adventurous as a lead character and her rash decision-making will likely lead to headaches for the other characters and interesting situations for the reader. Lanzing and Kelly infuse the book with something of a CW mentality at points, with youthful characters who are content to be who they are and throw caution to the wind. To's illustrations do a great job of capturing the essence of the story itself, providing characters who ebb and flow in regards to one another in a way that feels appropriately gravitational. Joyride #1 is very enjoyable and a fun new story for readers to check out.

Joyride #1 is in stores April 20.