Writer: Brandon Montclare
Artist: Amy Reeder
Review by Eric Owens
Dayoung Johannson has traveled back to 1986 to stop you from getting a flying car. If the teenage cop’s mission goes as planned, that flying car and everything else about her version of 2013 could be erased from history. For now, though, she’s swooping around Times Square in her jetpack, delivering some alt-future justice.
Montclare’s Dayoung is a detective in the New York Teen Police Department who’s taken it upon herself to investigate megacorporation Quintum Mechanics and allegations that the company has been using time travel for its own gain. To do so, she’s traveled to when it all began: the moment Professor Sharma and a few college students first flipped the switch on the Q-engine. The resulting explosion might count as tampering with evidence, but it’s not clear yet if it’s from Dayoung’s appearance or some other forces.
Whatever the case, Dayoung is taken in by Professor Sharma’s assistants. Like any headstrong teenager, she doesn’t take well to staying in her room and soon jets off to assist the NYPD. It’s a good thing, too, since the officers she meets prove incompetent, which is an improvement over the majority of the force.
There’s no doubt that Dayoung will nab the criminal and it’s a shame her takedown is off-panel in favor of attempted suspense. However, this is immediately made up for by a scene of Dayong turning the tables on her would-be arresting officers. It’s a little unbelievable how much information and leeway they initially give her, but having a young girl fly in on a jetpack and start taking charge might through anyone off his/her game.
The book is filled with great little period details. A character gets tossed a dime so he can make a call from a pay phone. Second-run theaters have marquees with titles of 1985 movies. Comics that flutter out the window (Dark Knight Returns #3, Mage: The Hero Discovered#13, and Starstruck #6) put the story firmly in the spring of ’86. Most importantly to the plot, Times Square is in all its filthy, unruly, debauched glory.
The New York of the past stand in stark contrast to Dayoung’s 2013, as demonstrated perfectly with a split-screen panel at the end of the book. The alt-present looks like the set of a Blade Runner Saturday morning cartoon sponsored by Toys ‘R’ Us. This childish design carries over to the NYTPD with their hologram badges and cutesy transforming robots. Commissioner Gomez dresses like he’s playing dress-up with clothes from his father’s closet. Reeder must have had a blast working out these designs.
This issue lays the basic groundwork for the series, but that’s about it. Especially in the 1986 segments, the supporting cast is relegated to background roles. There’s plenty of time to flesh them out more, but right now nearly everyone in the past is forgettable. It’s too early to judge the overall story arc, but as a standalone issue, Rocket Girl #1 was a lot of fun.
Eric is a contributing writer for Drunk On Comics. You can follow him on Twitter at @EricDOwens.