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Rocket: The Blue River Score - A Comic Book Review

Harry has read and watched unhealthy amount of comic books and movies.

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Rocket is sitting alone in the bar at the edge of the galaxy when Otta calls out his name. She looks as graceful as she ever was.

Seeing her again brings back all the memories that have been buried in his heart all this time. Her smile, her charm, her intelligence, and above all, her betrayal.

He knows there's only one reason why she bothers to show up in this dump. She wants him to steal something for her. A heist. Just like last time.

Honestly, he's tired right now. Hell, the reason he's drinking alone here is to get away from all guarding the galaxy bullcrap. Besides, he knows how it all gonna turn out. At the end of the day, she gonna leave him all alone to take all the blame.

And yet, he said yes anyway.

Story

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With the Blue River Score, Al Ewing manages to string together three consecutive space heist with a planetary prison break in between. And all of it flows nicely from one event to the next. Everything is the natural consequence of the event that precedes it.

But don't think that this is the type of story where we simply jump from one crazy event to the next with no substance between them.

In the core of The Blue River Score is Rocket's journey of love, betrayal, redemption, and self-discovery. Throughout the story, he tries to find what needs to be done to be free from the past that has been chained him down all this time.

But by burning those bridges, he ends up with another big hole in his heart instead. He fights his hardest to move forward only to end up exactly where he started.

Unfortunately, to build all of that characterization and atmosphere, Al Ewing utilizes lots of exposition and inner monologues. A page filled with a single illustration and a paragraph of exposition is the norm here.

For me, this kind of info dump gets tedious fast. Sure there are texts in it, but for the most part, a comic book is a visual medium and it should be crafted and treated as such. As the rule goes, show, don't tell.

Presentation

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The art style of the Blue River Score is what you might expect to find in any major superhero comic books. Bold and sharp lines with even bolder and sharper colors. I'm not for or against it, as long as it serves its purpose well, like here, then it's all good.

Where the art shines, however, is in the character design and the world-building department. The story demands Rocket to visit multiple unique places in the galaxy and interact with a multitude of characters with equally unique looks and abilities.

Coming up with the design concept for all of that is not a simple matter, but artist Adam Gorham manages to do it perfectly. The result is a rich and dense world that feels organic and lived in, which enhances the feeling of how vast Rocket's journey really is.

Another thing that deserves a mention is the panel designs and placements. This comic boasts a boatload of what could only be described as dynamic panels.

Amidst the standard rectangles ones, he scatters around panels with various forms and shapes across the pages while still maintaining a tight grip on the overall flow of the story.

It's little details like this that show how much the creator truly cares about creating something as near perfect as they possibly can, and I respect and appreciate that a lot.

Reading Experience

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As I mention earlier, there are numerous pages filled with exposition and inner monologues accompany by a single illustration in this book. I'm not a big fan of it.

After encountering several of such pages, I find myself getting impatient and there's a deep urge to put the book down altogether.

But thank God I forced myself to keep moving forward because there's a really good and complex story in it. Underneath all the heists and laser beams lies a delicate story of regrets and redemption.

Above all, The Blue River Score is a fun comic book to read. The juxtaposition of the crazy antics and deep characterization provides a unique and satisfying reading experience for me. Highly recommended.

What's Next

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If you like what you've read and wonder is there any other comics that have a similar flavor to The Blue River Score, then I have two recommendations for you.

First, The Last Days of American Crime. In the dystopian future, the US government decides to implement a signal that could incapacitate people with criminal INTENT. Sort of like Tom Cruise's Minority Report but a lot more efficient.

Anyway, a group of people trying to pull off the greatest heist in history right before the wide implementation of the signal takes place.

It's a story full of blood, carnage, sex, nudity and it's been adapted into a Netflix movie. Don't bother watching it though, it's not that good, read the comic instead. Here's my full review.

Second, Catwoman: Selina's Big Score. Another heist comic from a major superhero character, just like The Blue River Score. The difference is, Selina's story takes a lot more realistic approach than Rocket's.

Rocket shows you a crazy sci-fi adventure, while Selina will take you on a sombre and gritty noir story.

Similar to Rocket's, you can also expect a great character's arc with this comic. Suffice to say, you would see another side of the infamous Selina Kyle here. As usual, you can read my full review here.

Comments

Chungle on August 12, 2020:

have a good day.