REVIEW: 'Motor Crush' #1 by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr
Following in her daddy's championship footsteps, Domino Swift is looking to make her mark in "the World's Favorite Sport," the World Grand Prix of motorcycle racing. Dom, a cross between Rihanna and Grace Jones, is a fearless speed racer that can't get enough of the competition the circuit provides. It leads to some brutal street racing only someone like Mad Max's Furiosa could love, mixed with the subtext of an illegal drug called Crush that has devastating consequences for some in the issue.
Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher, and Babs Tarr are unleashed to create an immensely immersive vision of the future after triumphantly giving Batgirl a fresh fun makeover at DC Comics. They've done what is hard to do in comics, make a fully formed world right out of the gate in its debut. From locations to lingo to the characters, Motor Crush has a certain veneer and demeanor that blend video game graphics, the neon-noir of South Beach, with the visceral action of Death Race 2000.
Tarr goes to town with the racing sequences, ever-changing perspectives, violent clashes, dynamic layouts, and one dark turn. The art is fluid and free, less concerned with precision and more focused on bringing a dreamy stream of pink and purple infused punk rock racing action. Even in the quieter moments, there is an energy to Tarr's work in color and design of the characters that is giving us something new, fresh, and exciting. As harsh as this new world known as Nova Honda can be, we still want to see more of it and explore even further.
The only missteps might be in the ambiguity of Crush. What it is exactly, what does it do, where does it come from, and why did Domino get hooked? She's headstrong, smart and occasionally defiant but Fletcher and Stewart have created the perfect imperfect protagonist in her. Driven to win but her addiction might be her downfall. It's compelling stuff in an already death-defying sport.
'Motor Crush' delivers an action-packed debut issue that runs on adrenaline and a fierce leading lady in Domino Swift. It's the perfect example of a creative team allowed to cut loose and create a thrilling futuristic tale without the trappings of dystopian or apocalyptic tropes. It's a fresh blast of kick-ass fun and intrigue that ushers in a new year in comics with style.