Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tyson Hesse's Diesel: Ignition

Diandra "Dee" Diesel lost her adopted father long ago, when the Birdmen kidnapped or killed him. Now she's just counting down the days until she can take over his ship as Captain. There are just a few problems. First, the traveling community ship of Peacetowne already has a captain (and a first mate) and Dee isn't exactly qualified to take over. Second, the birdmen are back. Third, she's lost with no friends or help except her old robot Rick. As Dee travels to the wastelands below the clouds and back up again to the glorious capital city, she will encounter prejudice and injustice, family that isn't as close as she always thought, and come face to face with her own choices.

The art shows a complex and vibrant world, from the beautiful cloud cities to the dark wastelands below. Every protagonist has a different design, although Dee, the Captain, and most of the other women are comic-book skinny. There are bull-like creatures with horns and large, black eyes, a variety of humanoids, and the terrifying bird men, shown as giant, hawk-like creatures with broken English.

Dee is, frankly, not a likable character. She refuses to make any effort to learn or contribute, but wants to take over and run things because it's her adopted father's legacy. But there are a lot of secrets hidden in her father's past - and she resolutely refuses to listen to any suggestions that he might not be the hero she always thought him. She's oblivious to the prejudice and injustice experienced by members of her own adopted family, until she's bludgeoned over the head with it. But readers will gradually see a change as she starts taking responsibility for her own actions, listening to her friends and family, and using her abilities to make a difference. Ultimately, it's refreshing to see a central character, especially a women, who's allowed to be less than perfect, who makes stupid mistakes, and doesn't change overnight to the perfect role model.

Verdict: There isn't a good age range given for this, but I would say it's appropriate for readers who enjoy other fast-paced, action fantasy comics like 5 Worlds or Amulet.

ISBN: 9781608867; Published 2016 by Boom! Studios; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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