Words: Jason Inman & Ashley Victoria Robinson
Art: Ben Matsuya
Colors: Elizabeth Kramer
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Edits: Brittany Matter
Publisher: Creator Owned, Published via Action Lab
Available: Issue 2 Currently on Kickstarter!
What is a plucky teenage girl to do, when she discovers that her “earth” is really Europa, a moon orbiting Jupiter, and that her world is in fact controlled by a devious alien overlord named Praetor Pluto? And that he is only one of an entire species of intergalactic ne’er-do-wells whose raison d’etre is manipulating humanity? Well, she discovers her dearly departed father’s home-made jet pack and goes out to save the day, that’s what!
But then, what does she do for an encore?
Equal parts Kim Possible and Men in Black with the look and feel of Atomic Robo, Jupiter Jet and the Forgotten Radio is the story of Jacqueline “Jacky” Johnson, seenteen-year-old flyer and hero of Olympic Heights, and her newfound quest to reunite humanity. With the aid of her boy-genius kid brother Chuck and a diverse cast of community revolutionaries known as The Children of Gaia, Jacky must make her way through arguing grownups and into orbit in order to repair a disabled communications satellite which could allow the people of Europa to connect with other suspected human settlements throughout the galaxy. The only things standing (ok, flying) in her way: robotic, spider-legged legates (the Praetors enforcer ‘bots) and a mysterious Black Flyer…who introduces our heroine to a whole new level of threat!
Oh…and Chuck happened to find this old, beat-up radio, with a secret message embedded in it…
And that’s just the first 20 pages!
Currently up for backing on Kickstarter (click here to see what all the fuss is about), Jupiter Jet and the Forgotten Radio is the brainchild and passion project of husband and wife team Jason Inman and Ashley Victoria Robinson. The second arc of a successful, “fun for the whole family” retro-sci-fi story (the first arc was nominated for a Ringo Award for Best Kids Comic or Graphic Novel), this volume “tells the story of a girl confronting what it is to be a young woman while saving her planet from a dangerous interplanetary threat.”
As any parent can attest to (I have two kiddos myself), “child” and “young adult” oriented media can be a hit-or-miss kind of thing. For every Book of Pooh and Artemis Fowl, you’ve got a Barney the Dinosaur and Twilight. So it was with a little bit of a skeptical eye that I took in Jupiter Jet.
I needn’t have worried.
I have to say, having read a 20-page preview to the 120-page volume, this one looks like a bucket full of fun. Inman and Robinson’s writing is crisp and exciting, and Matsuya’s art is a perfect blend of sci-fi action and cartoon, without feeling remotely like a “kid’s book.” Kramer’s colors and Esposito’s letters certainly help in this regard, keeping the action vibrant and flowing. The characters and tensions between them are realistic and engaging, and the story is at once intergalactic and involved enough to hold interest, but not so overly complicated as to lose even younger readers. As an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed the nostalgic feel and look to the book and can’t wait to read more—and feel completely at ease offering it up to my daughter and nieces (and nephews) for consumption as well.
So, what are you waiting for? Hop yourself on to Kickstarter, and get this thing moving—while the best rewards (like original art from the book, and prints from Jonboy Meyers and Nicola Scott, as well as some really cool consulting opportunities) are still available!
The Jupiter Jet and the Forgotten Radio Kickstarter can be found here…and if you ask real nice, you can even hook a copy of the first volume as well, and see Jacky’s first foray into flight!
Score: 11.5 (of 13)
Review by Andy Patch, thePullbox.com