The world of Joyride is both familiar and so very alien from other sci-fi premises. Earth has united under the Triumvirate, an oppressive government that has sealed away the planet behind the “Safesky” to protect it from alien threats. Most of the population is content, except for a pair of teenagers who long to see what lies beyond that steel dome.
I was sold from the core premise and the apt comparison to Runaways and Young Avengers. I fell in love three pages in. Long before the stunning visuals and the action, a simple dialogue between main characters, Uma and Dewydd, was all it took. Joyride’s leads have such great chemistry and are instantly likeable. Best of all, this issue is through and through their story. While they pick up a few others along the way, the issue never slows down or cuts away. This is a galaxy to be experienced through Uma and Dewydd’s eyes, and what imaginative and optimistic eyes those are.
The Hacktavist creative team is reunited on Joyride. Writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly have a gift with dialogue. There is actually a lot of exposition crammed into this single issue, and yet I devoured it all and barely recognized it; it blended so well with the natural conversations. The setting of Joyride is creative, but there’s a lot crammed in there, even just on Earth. Some of the explanations lost me, and a subsequent read through wasn’t enough to find my way.
No matter, a few details aside, once Joyride gets under way, it doesn’t stop. The art team of artist Marcus To and colorist Irma Knivila nailed the look and feel of this book. Space is gorgeous, the vehicles are sleek and cool, and everything is so very colorful. This isn’t some dreary, fascist world. Even the Triumvirate’s uniforms are full of color. That detail might not sound important, but the vibrant color of the character’s styles, the ship’s, the galaxy itself gives Joyride a feeling of fun and optimism that is missing from far too many sci-fi stories.
I could gush about the last eight pages of this comic alone, but I should leave something for new readers to discover. After all, don’t you want to know what’s beyond the Safesky?
For more info about Joyride, including where to buy it, head over to BOOM! Studios listing for it here.
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