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‘Rocket Queen and the Wrench #1:’ Comic Book Review

Rocket Queen and the Wrench 1


Rocket Queen and the Wrench 1Twelve-year-old Jamie Baldwin is having a bad day.

On his elementary school graduation day, the campus is attacked by the Technivore, and he’s rescued by Rocket Girl . . . errr, Queen, only to have her suit shut down by a stray shot and crash land, where he’s forced to reboot her armor by hand, using instructions radioed by his hero, Captain Zoom.

And, what did you do on your elementary school graduation?

In Big & Tall Tales’ new series, Rocket Queen and the Wrench, writer Justin Peniston and artist Ramanda Kamarga have taken the premise of a crime-fighting family of armored heroes and given it a nice twist, focusing on the unspoken impact being a hero can have on those around them.

Two years later, Jamie, now 14, is taking a turn for the worse.  Declining grades, trouble with the authorities, and a general bad attitude have led his despairing mother to ship him off to spend the summer with his estranged father.  But, what Jamie doesn’t know is that his father is allied with Captain Zoom and the Zoom family, and that his rescue that day was no accident.

Kamarga’s crisp, clean lines owe a nod to Japanese manga style but stand well on their own merit, full of sharp lines, bright and simple colors (by colorist Rainer Petter), and intelligent, moving layouts. His detail of the Zoom family armor shines in every panel with a shiny professionalism and little-to-no visual clutter that some illustrators might have been tempted to overemploy.

Peniston manages to establish character very quickly in the few, but fast-moving, pages he has to work with, opening with a bang to set-up his tale, then managing to convey a depth of emotion in 9 short panels that fill in the two-year jump.  While no great surprises leap out at the reader, the storytelling is smooth and easily accessible to young readers.

Above all, the artwork and writing combine to tell a fun story, and readers should look forward to Jamie joining the team in future issues.





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