Esteemed cartoonist Terry Moore returns with his brand new series “Motor Girl.” Read on for our spoiler free review.
Written and Illustrated by Terry Moore
First Issue! When Samantha’s junkyard is visited by a UFO looking for spare parts, she is only too happy to oblige. But when word gets out she is a reliable source, Sam’s booming alien business catches the attention of an Area 51 investigator determined to shut her down! Don’t miss the premier issue of Terry Moore’s fantastic new series!
Terry Moore is without a doubt one of the most talented cartoonists in comics today; he’s also one of the most underappreciated. After telling three very different stories in “Strangers In Paradise,” “Echo,” and “Rachel Rising,” Moore returns with something very different from his previous three series. “Motor Girl” #1 gets into some quirky weirdness but retains the same heart that all of Moore’s series have had.
Samantha works at a junk yard with a sort of mother figure and a talking gorilla named Mike. Samantha lives kind of an outsider life after coming back from doing multiple tours of duty. One night, things take an interesting turn when she’s visited by aliens one night.
Having read all of Moore’s previous work, I will admit, I expected to like this. What is very evident with “Motor Girl” is that Terry Moore still has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. “Motor Girl” #1 is very playful, more playful than “Rachel Rising,” but there’s still some very serious things being addressed in this issue. “Motor Girl” #1 comes right out the gate with some genuine laughs and great banter between Samantha and Mike. Moore’s writing is always very tight and he gets to the point quickly. We learn so much about his leads through how they interact with each other and this series is no different. In fact, a huge revelation comes not as a throwaway but in a subtle way that demands your attention.
“Motor Girl” #1 is not all fun and games as it does touch on some serious subject matter. I won’t spoil too much here but Samantha’s background will allow for some intriguing exploration into something that folks don’t like to talk about. It’s heavy but like his other work, Moore will undoubtedly find a way to analyze it in a respectful manner. “Motor Girl” #1 also feels like a complete vision in the sense that it actually has a beginning, middle and an end. Moore lets us get used to these characters and this world on top of introducing the bigger arc. So often we see a giant concept introduced but everything else is paper thin. With “Motor Girl,” we are drawn to the characters and their personal wants because the bigger arc will fall in place as we get to know them more. They will lead us to the concept, not the other way around. It’s what helps separate Moore’s work from the rest of the pack. I’ll take a character driven drama over a high concept with no heart any day of the week.
What’s always so great about Terry Moore comics is that they don’t tend to get bogged down in hefty dialogue. He will usually avoid doing too much with the writing and let the art speak, which is something more comic book creators need to do. We get a great idea of who Samantha is and what she wants without being taken through a lengthy history. From the first page, Moore gives us great visuals of this spunky, athletic young woman and her talking, sarcastic gorilla friend. Samantha has this great, sporty look with the bandanna and loose jeans and in her expressions there’s a vitality that really pulls you to her as a reader. Mike, on the other hand, has this very grumpy, sarcastic thing going about him and add that to his size and he becomes engaging for different reasons than Samantha.
Moore’s pages have his signature line work but “Motor Girl” #1 has a little more action in it in the early goings than something like “Rachel Rising” did. Moore doesn’t go too outside of his box to create these scenes but there’s some smart use of speed lines and hand written special effects. Things get even more exciting when the aliens arrive. Moore really gets into some very fun slapstick humor without even using dialogue. Each panel in this sequence is carefully planned out to deliver laughs and amusement. It bears repeating but this is the kind of thing I wish we had more of. Moore’s ink work is very well done. He does great work at conveying time of day and his layering of shadows does wonders at adding depth to his work.Continued below
“Motor Girl” #1 might not be a long epic like some of Moore’s earlier work but all the things Moore is known and loved for is here. I’m really excited to see this develop and I want to see Moore unleash more of this kind of visual comedy.
Final Verdict: 8.0 – A very strong start to a series very different than anything Moore has done before.