Created from a successful Kickstarter campaign, this quirky new comic follows the adventures of a stunt-woman following in her famous father’s footsteps. Along for the show are Zoe’s sister, Danni, and the two comic relief robot sidekicks, V.IC.T.O.R. and JJ. In this series opener, Zoe gets a visit from a government agent. A strange asteroid, later renamed a Disasteroid by Danni, heads for Earth. Only those qualified in zero gravity training can help with a plan to stop the planet’s destruction. One setback for a daredevil who never shies away from a challenge is the addition to the rescue team of a rival daredevil and hated adversary.
Zoe must swallow her rivalry in order to save humanity from this catastrophic event.
The pros of the book start with a strong female lead that feels human, flawed, but believable. Zoe stands out due to the pressures of living up to the reputation her father created. Readers will see that Zoe’s dedication to her family motivates her to overcome that legacy while remaining faithful to her family.
Another pro of the book comes from the mantra that the team utilizes: “Lung fo mo shi!” Roughly translated, the statement means power on top of power. The theme frames the story and the character of Zoe so well.
The cons, unfortunately, outweigh the pros. One of the major low points of the book is the cliché dialogue taken from popular films. Films from Die Hard to Star Wars have had their lines of uninspiring dialogue cherry picked for the sake of humor. Where Zoe Dare could have been unique and inspiring in its own theme and time in the vein of The Rocketeer, the book falls into a comedic repetitiveness that has been overly abused in popular television shows like Family Guy.
Where Zoe shines as a protagonist, the blue alien invaders fall flat. Their lame antics and lack of true character make them the flattest antagonists when compared with Zoe.
The last con that I wish to address stems from the book’s rehashing of common tropes. For instance, the comic relief duo of two robots took zero effort to construct. And the scene at NASA’s mission control drips with the influence of Armageddon.
I commend Brockton McKinney for assembling this book and getting it to print, a feat so few can do. However, he needs to be more Brockton McKinney and less everyone else. There’s a great potential and future for Zoe Dare if she can be written as herself and not the summation of pop culture references.
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