Motor Crush #10
Story: Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr
Art: Babs Tarr, Jake Wyatt
Publisher: Image Comics
Review by Sean Frankling
Motor Crush has such a buck wild premise that I can’t figure out how to describe it without just sounding silly. The series tells the tale of Domino Swift, a motorcycle racer in the glam-punk city of Nova Honda. She desperately tries to hold together her professional racing career while balancing illegal night races to score Crush. What’s Crush? Why, it’s an illicit motorcycle-boosting fuel with highly addictive properties (addictive to the bikes, apparently, not sure how that works). But for reasons teased throughout the plot, Domino needs to ingest Crush to live — hence the street racing. Also, there’s time travel.
I told you it sounded ridiculous. What’s amazing though is how the creative team have taken something that sounds this crazy and sold it so darn well.
In issue 10, the series’ climax begins. Domino teams up with her underground street-racing competitors to rescue her father from the shady organization who run both the over- and under-the-table racing leagues. And it’s every bit the climax Motor Crush deserves.
Throughout the series, the Motor Crush team have made their unbelievable premise feel compellingly real. They’ve done that by building a world populated with naturalistic, lovable (and culturally diverse) characters. Every one of them seems right at home in their niche in Nova Honda’s society. No one seems out of place unless the story needs them to.
And it’s through the eyes of these fleshed-out characters that the creators bring the story’s more outlandish elements to life. There’s no clunky exposition. Ever. We learn everything we need to about the world and its science through the character’s behaviour and reactions. The result is a supremely believable world where bike drugs are a fact of life.
With all that ground work in place, the climax beginning in issue 10 carries all the tangible reality and emotional weight it needs to really rope the reader in. Thanks to all the time Motor Crush has spent familiarizing us with its world and its technology, there’s no question of what’s going on. So when we see a sci-fi weapon, we know exactly what it can do to our main characters. Likewise, all the time we’ve spent getting to know Domino and her family and friends — what they want, need and care about — has built up not just the stakes of the finale, but a real reason to get invested.
As always, the series’ art is spectacularly eye-catching. The neon glamour of Nova Honda and its citizens makes even low-key street scenes visually stunning. So when we’re watching all those elements tossed around in expertly framed and executed action scenes, the effect is almost mesmerizing. Combine that with perspective work that puts us right in the scene with the characters instead of dispassionately observing from afar, and it’s the most cinematic comic I’ve read this year.
Buy it! Absolutely check this series out. I don’t recommend starting with this issue, though. To get the most out of the climax, it’s definitely worth starting from issue one.