Friday, April 21, 2006

This Comic Was Good - Retro Rocket #1

This comic was released by Image Comics a couple of weeks ago. It is written by Tony Bedard, with art by Jason Orfalas. It is also probably one of the most misleading (but in a good way) covers that I have seen in a long while.

Look at that cover!

Doesn't that look like the most generic "mech" comic that you've ever seen?

However generic it may appear, Retro Rocket is surprisingly different than the rest, and was a very fun comic. It is filled with action, but is based in some really good characterizations that make the reader become quickly invested in the scenario in the comic.

Here's the plot summation - It is in the future, and America is defended by a group of soldiers who wear these gigantic suits of armor. Along with them on the mission, as the book begins, is a smaller suit of armor, who is there as an advisor. He is our hero - Retro. Retro gets involved in the mission, and after all is said in done, we learn Retro's secret - unlike the other men, Retro basically IS a robot! They just wear suits of armor, while Retro is a disembodied brain kept alive in a robot body for the past thirty years!! Isn't that a great character bit? He never ages, while the people around him get older, and the technology used by the other armors are improved.

So he is a fossil, a piece of history - who has nothing to do but work for the Army (after all, where else CAN he go? Who can keep him running?), but can never be "one of the team."

Meanwhile, in this issue, we meet his new mechanic, the lady on the cover, who is the niece of his original mechanic, who is retiring. Their relationship, I am sure, will be a big part of future issues.

Orfalas' art is good, very cartoony. It is very much like this is one of those CineManga comics, which make up a comic from stills of a cartoon show. It is a really weird effect, but it still looks good.

One problem I had was the way the soldiers treated Retro after he screwed up with a bomb in the comic - my concern is that no one ELSE knew what to do with the bomb, so why blame Retro? Especially as he saved one of the soldier's life earlier on! It seemed like a bit of a short cut by Bedard - he wanted the soldiers to look down on Retro, so they did.

Otherwise, this comic is a fun action book. Not setting the world on fire with creativity, but a well-done book with a great character (Retro, natch), nonetheless.

See the cover!


Blogger Edward Liu said...

I really enjoyed the first issue of Retro Rocket, too. I think it grabbed me pretty much from the solicitation text and the artwork. Plus, it's got a killer title. It's not the most original concept in the world and I'm pretty sure I can predict at least two things that will happen in future issues.

There's "where are we going?" stories and "how are we getting there?" stories. Retro Rocket (so far) is a wonderfully charming instance of the latter. The fact that you pretty much know how the story is going to end is less important than the fact that it's so much fun getting from point A to point B.

Of course, it's another book that seems to be getting completely ignored by all the people bitching and moaning about how "comics aren't fun any more" even as it gives them absolutely everything they say they want.

Go Retro!

4/24/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Brian Cronin said...

It IS interesting how little attention Retro Rocket has received.

Too bad it couldn't be squeeze into DC or Marvel continuity...then it could get a LOT of praise - and get cancelled after 8 issues...(frowny face).

4/24/2006 04:33:00 PM  

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