Rocket Girl #5 brings the opening arc of this series to an end, answering a few lingering questions while providing a lot of material to push this time-traveling series forward. Having narrowly escaped the Quintum Mechanics goons from the last issue, New York City cop Dayoung Johansson spends most of this issue figuring out what to do in 1986. The rest of the time, Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder focus on the other hanging plot points. We see some of the fallout from Dayoung traveling back in time from the future, where the remaining New York Teen Police force start to rebel against shadowy corporation Quintum Mechanics. Meanwhile, in 1986, Annie makes some choices that could jeopardize her academic career, and she ends up needing some help from her new friend Dayoung.
Both creators have done an amazing job creating two worlds, Dayoung’s present in 1986 and her past in 2013, which are really fleshed-out and full of engaging characters. I’m finding myself really enjoying their take on the “future” 2013, and I hope they get to explore more of that timeline and its characters. I really want to learn more about the Teen Cops and see more of Commissioner Gomez (I’m jealous of his glasses and want a pair for myself).
Amy Reeder continues to blow me away with her art; the line work is very clean and the inking fits the mood of the book very well. The stand-out of her art, though, is definitely her coloring: it’s simple, yet complex. Each panel really comes to life, and her choice of colors really helps sell the mood she tries to convey to the reader. I can’t think of another book that uses such a wide variety of colors; every panel has a picturesque feel to it. In most other comic books you’ll see a city layout in the back ground of a panel which is colored with a simple gradient, and comes off feeling very static. Redder uses a wide spectrum of color to bring each panel to life in Rocket Girl; you can feel New York City, and I absolutely love it.
The pacing between moments of action and exposition are handled excellently by both creators. There is a particular action sequence on an elevator that uses the panel layouts in a very clever way, in which I haven’t seen done in a lot of other comic books, and it really shows off the level of talent Montclare and Reeder bring to this book. I even enjoy the sections with lots of exposition, because the choice of panel layout gives the reader’s eye something to focus on other than talking heads; characters move around in panels, and so many different angles of a room are shown, so we get to see what is happening at any given moment in more detail.
I really enjoy time travel stories; I like the idea of how choices made in the past can directly affect what you left behind in the future, changing it for better or worse. Rocket Girl is an engaging story and I am looking forward to see where both creators are taking this series.