Joyride, vol. 1 by Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly (writers)
Publisher: Boom Entertainment (October 4th 2016)
Series: Joyride #1
Length: 112 pages
Genre: YA; science-fiction, adventure
Review also on my GR
Rating: 4/5 🍑
The stars have been blocked out for so long that people have forgotten there was anything else besides the World Government Alliance watching over them. Uma Akkolyte is a girl who shoots first, leaps before she looks, and is desperate for any means to leave her planet behind. And so she does. When Uma jacks an alien spaceship and punches through the stratosphere she sets forth on an adventure with an unlikely crew who are totally not ready for all the good, bad, and weird the universe will throw at them.
From writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly (Batman and Robin Eternal, Grayson) and artist Marcus To (Nightwing, New Avengers), Joyride is a rebellious love letter to the sci-fi genre, exploring what happens when nothing stands between a group of teens and their freedom amongst the stars.
I received a galley from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Joyride truly was a ride full of joy! Listen, I’ll be honest, I was sold from the very first line of the blurb I read & I was sure I’d love this comic book. I was not wrong.
The premise is really rather simple. So we are well in the future and the Earth is run by fascists. It’s also isolated from the rest of the universe by a barrier called SafeSky & has been for so long, people don’t even remember anymore there are stars in the sky. But of course this wouldn’t be the great adventure that it is without one of our protagonists who dreams of nothing else but leaving the planet & exploring the stars. Which obviously would be illegal. Has that word ever stopped Uma before though…
Naturally Uma isn’t alone in her space journey. And here we come to the best part about this book: the wonderful cast! There are three teens from vastly different backgrounds, a robot and an alien. Talk about an interesting crew! They didn’t all know each other before but over time and thanks to everything they go through together, they learn to listen to each other & love each other. I’ll admit I’m a sucker for the found families trope so this was basically a dream come true for me.
Each of the characters is fleshed out and given agenda. And, even more importantly, they are all allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, to grow throughout the story. Their emotions are real, their banter witty & their ideas outrageous. My favorites are definitely mentioned before Uma & the other girl in our space ensemble – Catrin. They both have a complicated past that they’re trying to live with and at the same time not let it totally shape them. Honorary mention in my Top Favs category to Bot – the robot who doesn’t actually speak a human language and yet remains the cutest & warmest thing in the universe.
I think one of the main strengths of Joyride is how fresh & vibrant it feels. This seems to come from two main sources. One: the teen characters truly feel like teens & themselves bring some novelty to the story. It’s not exactly common that dialogues written for teenagers come across as natural and something that seventeen-year-olds would actually say but Joyride excels at that! And two: the story is so packed with action, with adventures that there’s just no way to be bored even for a second. Those two elements also connect beautifully in a way that the plot is driven by teens and they all do things that teenagers would do. I mean, the first place they visit in space is a shopping mall! Come on!
I couldn’t write a review for a comic book without mentioning the art. The most important part! And OMG it’s so incredible???? I absolutely loved all the character designs and the great use of colors. It’s honestly a feast for the eyes! It’s really hard, at least for me, to find a comic book that has a good plot and a beautiful art so Joyride is a real blessing.
My only complaint would be that sometimes there was just too much action. There were a few moments where the cuts between scenes were so rapid, I was wondering if I didn’t accidentally miss a page… But overall it’s not much of a flaw and doesn’t actually take away from the enjoyment of the whole thing.
Least but definitely not last! I spy with my gay eye a budding relationship! I really hope it’s explored even more in the next volume.
All in all, the first volume of Joyride was a great fun! It made me nostalgic for some of my favourite shows, like Cowboy Bebop or Firefly and I simply cannot wait to see what else the series has in store! If you enjoy sci-fi stories with amazing characters, especially ones involving actual space travel, you must check out Joyride.