Story by: Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly
Art by: Marcus To
Color by: Irma Kniivila
Are you the rebellious young type who questions authority? Then Joyride Issue 2, written by Jackonson Kanzing and Collin Kelly with illustrations by Marcus To, is the comic for you. In this wild ride of a comic you follow protagonists Uma, Dewydd, and Catrin as they escape an alien police force. Lanzing and Kelly present a stellar issue with Joyride #2 because you can feel the sense of freedom Uma, Catrin, and Dewydd feel.
Uma gets separated from Catrin and Dewydd after she steals a valuable relic from interstellar beetle humanoids. In the rush, she meets a strange and spunky new friend. In this moment, I can imagine Uma starts to feel she is REALLY apart of a much larger universe. Meeting a spunky new alien can be like the feeling of meeting someone who is a hippy. A hippy, who lives outside the rules and establishment of society. Uma’s new alien friend is named Kolstak and he states he is a thief like her. While Uma is getting to know Kolstak and coming up with an escape plan, Catrin and Dewydd are chilling with the locals.
In these next panels, we can relate to Dewydd not wanting to be labeled Systech 438 or the hero of Toronto. Catrin keeps calling Dewydd those names and Dewydd in annoyed tone states to Catrin that those titles are not his name and he never wanted those labels. Dewydd firmly tells Catrin, that they are off Earth where those names don’t apply. Dewydd expresses to Catrin he is here for an adventure with Uma. I can relate to Dewydd because whenever I move I feel it’s a new start. New friends, new adventures, and no one knows my past. It’s a sense of liberation. In Dewydd’s liberation, his first act of his new found freedom is to chose his own clothes and style.
Dewydd spends some stolen cash on some new threads. I interpret Dewydd getting new clothes as building a new identity for himself. Our fashion is one way we express ourselves as humans. Dewydd, as a young teenager, goes to the nicest clothing shop he can find. Young readers can relate to the desire to want to “fit in” by having the newest fashionable clothes. While in the shop, the impressionable young Dewydd is dressed up in silly clothes by a short octopus looking alien named Sio Ha. While he is being dressed up by Sio Ha, Catrin angrily heads outside after Sio Ha called her a “burden beast”. Catrin has this moment of feeling different and not wanted. Suddenly a strange ghost-like being approaches her and says that it can change her appearance to what humans consider “desirable.”
Confident in herself, Catrin runs away from the strange being and rushes back inside only to laugh at Dewydd’s new look. Laughter makes Catrin feel better about the encouter she just had outside. After Catrin is done laughing, she tells Dewydd that an Earth girl would not like his new look. Catrin’s direct statement to Dewydd reveals to us that Catrin is a women who isn’t afraid to speak her opinion. Dewydd then decides to make his own style.
The next panel we see our three protagonists re-unite and learn they need to jump planet to a place where cops won’t follow them. In their mad dash to the space ship, Uma compliments Dewydd’s new jacket and Dewydd modestly accepts the compliment. Once on the ship, everyone panics on where to go next and how to get a map working on the spaceship. Dewydd, once again saves the day, and gets the map working so Uma can pilot them out of there. Dewydd’s moment of feeling cocky and confident ends when one of the dynamites leaving the shit hits them and then we see the heroes crashing toward a dangerous space quadrant.
This issue feels mostly centered around Dewydd and we get to know a little more about his past. In Joyride #2, we get to see different characters interact with him. In the beginning of the comic, there is a short couple panels revealing that his brother is the head of an Earth special investigation force, which seem like Nazi secret police. As a reader, I want to know more about how Dewydd’s personality was developed around his brother being a major figure on Earth.
Joyride so far has done a great job at getting people to care for and understand what it’s like for Uma and Dewydd to finally be able to make their own decisions and mature into their own adults. Lanzing and Kelly really want you to get a sense of what real freedom feels like. I am starting to feel Catrin will eventually want to become a new person with the kids too. To and Kniivila give us beautiful and fun artwork within an engaging and relateable story. I would say anytime the plot contains kids escaping an authoritarian-ruled Earth, its a must read for all sci fi fans, because lets be honest, what sci-fi kid hasn’t had this fantasy. Joyride is one of Boom’s Studios top comics right now and you will regret not reading this stellar comic.