"Motro" #1 from Oni Press -
A lone boy dwells all alone after his family was tragically ripped away from him. His only companion is a seemingly sentient toy motorcycle that acts as his friend and his guide. After waking from another horrible nightmare, he decides to go down to the village to trade for supplies; he finds that it has been attacked and overrun by vicious barbarian-like men and their sentient tanks...Tanks which share very strong emotional bonds with their brutal drivers. The boy pleads with the men to stop, but they don't heed his pleas - he decides to make them stop by force, surprising them with strength well beyond that of any normal human. The boy stands alone against harsh, vile men and their mechanical machines of murderous mayhem. One child, his moral code and his mighty fists that mirror his even mightier heart. Can he hope to prevail in a world where only the most vicious and brutal thrive?
Ulises Fariñas and Erick Freitas pen this weird sci-fi story, "Motro." It is a very, very offbeat story about a child in a post-apocalyptic world who has lost so much and is fighting to keep it together and to keep his vision of the world alive. Even though the protagonist is super-powered, he is both physically and psychologically vulnerable. He is not your average tough guy hero - in a mean and hateful world, he retains his kindness and gentleness, yet with fists that hit like jackhammers. The protagonist doesn't show any of the stereotypical signs of masculinity - no "bring-it-on" attitude, no bulging muscles, no desire to rush head-on into adventure and conflict; rather, he is a peaceful warrior who would rather just be peaceful. He seeks to live out the code that his beloved father taught him - and he does so with tenderness, tears, and a burning desire to do what is right even if the cost of that is violence. In this world that Fariñas and Freitas have created, vehicles seem to live, communicating with their partners in emoji-filled word bubbles. It seems to me that the authors are trying to do something different with the traditional American action hero, giving their protagonist a rare softness to contrast with the power of his fists. Interesting. Ryan Hill provides the simple, cartoony, yet very expressive pencils. It's a simple-looking book that is seemingly exploring some not-so-simple themes about masculinity, strength, and weakness. "Motro" #1 is not my cup of tea; however, Fariñas, Freitas and Hill have created such an interesting protagonist, I will probably stick around for a few more issues. Again, "Motro" is a very offbeat story with a very offbeat protagonist - it's not for everyone. But I'd give this one a try, you just might find that you like it. I did.
RATING: 8 out of 10.
PS - I have a feeling that this book had a pretty small first print run.
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