By Brenden Fletcher, Babs Tarr and Cameron Stewart

There is no greater selling point than to say that, Motor Crush — the new series from Image Comics — is brought to you by the same creative team as Batgirl of Burnside. Babs Tarr, Brenden Fletcher, and Cameron Stewart come together again to bring us more of their amazing and truly collaborative talents. They’re the reason why Batgirl of Burnside made it onto the New York Times bestseller’s list and we should all be grateful that they have kept the team together for one more ride. And Motor Crush #1 is a phenomenal debut to what is sure to be a solid storyline, conceived by all three of the creators with art by Babs Tarr and Cameron Stewart. We could always use more from these professionals, particularly Tarr who continues to impress us artistically.

There are lots of comic books utilizing a wide variety of genres, even blending genres in the hopes of creating something original in a world of familiarity. What Motor Crush does is explore the idea that motorcycle racing can be a genre of it’s own. It is an admirable and welcomed move. Think about it…racing is thrilling, right? Therefore the story could be equally exciting. Add in the fact that it takes place in what feels like the very near future and you can identify certain elements that help achieve a new level or originality. One specific element that let’s the story climb to new heights is the introduction of mechanical narcotics — drugs for bikes — where the book get’s it’s title from. If speed is an addiction, then why not make it as literal as possible?

Main character Domino “Dom” Swift is a risk-taking, thrill-seeking racer who splits her time between the unavoidable media spotlight and a more secretive existence away from the cameras. What you get here is a story about family, competition, crime and what it means to live on the edge. The dialogue is so on point that readers will effortlessly follow along while learning about this world. Whether an informative moment, or an action-oriented one, there’s a breathless sense of anticipation infused into the plot. But make no mistake, there’s an even pace between dramatic sequences and full-on motorcycle excitement. Between story and art, you can almost feel the roaring engines as tires burn their hides against the road. Through blurred motion, trailing tail lights, and dynamic angles, the art allows us to get up close to what’s happening from panel to panel, and its nearly as good as watching it play out live. The descriptive narration depicts the action in a way that simply articulates what readers likely already felt.

This may be Domino Swift’s book, but there’s no shortage of colorful characters, although don’t get too attached to anyone since there’s seemingly no limit to the consequences of taking part in fringe performance enhancement. Rest assured, though, this creative team seems equally prepared to deliver payoffs without making us wait too long. On that note, we can only hope that each issue will take it up a notch and things will progress steadily upward to an even more spectacular outcome.

Motor Crush is fun, exciting and hands down one of the coolest new books around. Grab issue #1 on December 7th, and get ready for what is sure to be a very popular title. Your comic book addiction deserves a new fix, and Motor Crush is it.


About The Author Matthew Strackbein

Matt Strackbein was born and raised in Maryland but has called Colorado home for the last 17 years where he lives happily in Longmont with his wife. He began reading comic books at the age of seven after discovering a silver age stash in his grandparents’ attic. Comic books inspired Matt to start drawing, which lead to a successful career as a commercial artist. He has worked in the apparel industry for many years as a production artist and designer. His accomplishments include designing backcountry skiwear for world-class athletes as well as downhill ski race suit designs for the 2014 Winter Olympics for the United States and Canadian national ski teams. Matt currently works as a freelance textile-print designer, but still dedicates time to his first love – comics. With over 200 letters to the editor published, Matt is a known letterhack. He self-publishes autobiographical comics about his struggles to break into the industry, which finally paid off when Dark Horse asked him to produce 2-page back up stories in recent issues of B.P.R.D. Besides his own comics, Matt collaborates on independent books as a colorist and letterer. He also teaches the art of making comics to students of all ages.