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Rust Vol. 3: Death of the Rocket Boy (3) Hardcover – May 13, 2014
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Jet Jones wants to continue helping out on the Taylor farm but Oz has discovered his secret. As Jet Jones’s past start to catch up with him in a big way he is forced to face a decision. Should he stay on with the Taylor’s potentially drawing more trouble to their farm? Or should he accept that he may not ever fit in and find a family elsewhere? It seems that for Jet Jones the time to make a decision is running out.
I have really enjoyed all of the books in the Rust series and this book was no exception to that. They are science fiction type books but they are all set on a little farm. This lends a very nostalgic feel to the books. The fact that all of the illustration is done is soft sepia tones adds to this feeling.
This book reveals Jet’s origins and shows us a lot more about the man who made Jet. We learn why Jet has been seeking out that power cell so desperately and what might happen if he doesn’t get it.
Things are coming to a head at the Taylor farm. More and more of the drones are activating and turning violent. The Taylor farm is struggling to make ends meet and is questioning whether they should just shut down completely. There was quite a bit of action, lots of background, and some drama as well.
Overall this was an excellent installment in this series. I really enjoy the style this graphic novel is done in. I also enjoy the science fiction elements coupled with the nostalgic feel to the story. I love the characters and am dying to know how things will work out for Jet Jones. Recommended to graphic novel lovers of all ages.
For the Good, Bad, and Ugly, see below. Warning! Partial Spoilers!
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The Good: continued use of clear line and watercolor style artwork. The sepia tones and graduations are smooth and used well. The subtle palette gives a very good look for the story told. The few vivid colors really stand out and are used well graphically. Mr. Lepp nails the Kansas/Saskatchewan/Great Plains vibe. The ominous background story of a great war (perhaps The Great War, AKA WW1) fought with mechanical and robotic assistance is intriguing.
The Bad: Want the reveal about Jets background? Too bad! Only hints! Want the background of the war? Too bad! Want to see a resolution between Jet and Oz? Too... okay, that is kinda resolved, but not much.
The Ugly: This volume is drawn out and stretched thin. That fact there were five (five!) editors along with five assistant editors probably means that their confused and committee ridden changes modified Mr. Lepp's work, but in the end - it's his work, not theirs.
A lot of it, even some of the indie stuff, plays it safe; just rinsing and repeating with not a lot of thought going into it. It's a shame, cause I love comics. So when something like RUST comes along, it's hard to not notice.
It takes familiar themes, like family and friendship, mixes it with familiar settings and movies like Rocketeer, and splices in giant robots to make something you think you've seen before, but haven't. It's The Rocketeer meets the Iron Giant, if the little boy in it was also Mega Man.
Royden writes a really emotional and fulfilling adventure, with so much heart. Plus, his art is just amazing. He colors the book in sepia tones, giving it the perfect look to match a really interesting story.
Whether you read a lot of comics, or are like me and only have enough money for a few, try the first book out. I promise, you'll buy 2 & 3 immediately after.