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‘Trekker: Rites of Passage’ – Trade Paperback Review

Ron Randall immediately grabs your attention with the cover page, as he introduces the main character among a barrage of weapon fire and amazing contrasts of color. Trekker: Rites of Passage defines what a tough, intelligent, and skilled, fighting female character looks like as Randall showcases Mercy St. Clair, a “trekker” – otherwise known as a bounty hunter. The cover is surrounded with vivid pops of orange, blue-green, and white colors, while Mercy doesn’t flinch as she looks back to fire her weapon in the face of a massive assault.

Mercy’s determined expression follows her throughout this entire action-packed, science fiction trade paperback. Along with determination, Randall draws wonderful facial expressions to emphasize her focused ferocity in battle, and her anger at those that jeopardize her life or mislead her. It doesn’t come as a surprise that dishonesty or secrets are a part of a bounty hunter’s life, but her stature and ability to command a room speak volumes to those that would do such a thing. Mercy appears to be taller than average, has a strong posture, and is tactically equipped. Her gear includes a pair of holsters for differently sized blasters, protective padding, a cape, and a projectile hooking device that allows her to swing or be pulled through the air, giving her the power to fly from one place to the next.

The first few pages indicate what it’s like for Mercy to live in New Gelaph in the year 2226. It’s a dangerous world for bounty hunters, as intel is hard to come by and it’s not always certain that so-called allies would help if they didn’t owe her a favor. Fortunately, she’s more than capable of surviving a seemingly inescapable fight among many cyborgs, and this ability proves to the reader right away why this character has been around since 1987. It’s evident early in this book that she’s a superhero when she’s described as a “bounty hunter with a level head.” There’s a level of respect given to her based on her abilities and reasoning, which she further proves is accurate with this early escape from such a violent encounter.

Randall shines at storytelling with excellent transitions from one segment of the story to the next, changing the narrative from one character to another. This exceptional style gives additional perspective on Mercy, as other characters share their personal feelings and observations about her, as well as highlighting their own version of events as they happen. Rites of Passage is cleverly woven with Mercy’s balancing act of her personal life and job as a bounty hunter, which suddenly turns into a protective detail despite her misgivings and temper, because, ultimately, it’s the right thing to do. This Trekker story is a marvelous read that will make you want to pick up previous issues to find her origin story and discover what has transpired to lead her to this very moment in time – confident, capable, and dependable despite others’ inability to do the same.

In addition to fantastic storytelling and action sequences that keep you on the edge of your seat, this edition includes extra artwork and notes on these early productions and illustrations credited to Joelle Jones, Drew Johnson, Jeremy Colwell, Leila Del Duca, Owen Gieni, and Benjamin Dewey. These drawings also include personal bios about some of the artists written by Randall, providing another personal connection for the reader to hold onto, much like he achieves when you find yourself attached to Mercy.

Trekker: Rites of Passage is published by Dark Horse Comics and now available in print.

S.T. Lakata, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor



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