What Did I Learn?
weekly webcomic reviews by Delos Woodruff
This week’s review is on Jovian Luck. It is written and drawn by Kyle Sanders, inks by Aaron Noble, and colors by Lisa Jennings. Jovian updates Mon & Wed
Jovian Luck is billed as an “Epic Space Heist.” It starts as a transcript of Trip spilling the story of this heist to an interrogator.
Trip is the mastermind of this heist; the con man. He’s a smooth talker who seems to find a way out of trouble. The thing is, though, that he needs help to get anything done.
Trip has managed to acquire some crew, starting with Gauge the ferret. Ferret?!? That threw me until I read the cast page. You see, “Ferrets” climb through ducts and fuel pipes and fix things. That’s a much cooler concept than ship’s fixit guy, don’t you think?
When I look at things like that, I tend to see things from a story-consistent point of view. Gauge is thin; perfect for squeezing through sludge covered valves and bottlenecked fuel tanks. That also explains the need for the funny looking suit and goggles. I like that.
More importantly, Gauge has nowhere else to call home since abandoning his corporate employment after a freak accident. He needs Trip.
Rounding out the crew is Bull the athlete turned pilot. Wait. He’s not exactly a pilot. No one knows he failed out of star pilot school in the second week. He happened into Trip just after failing out, so Bull needs Trip as well.
(There are a number of other cast members which have not yet appeared in the comic. It’s a little early to tell exactly how some of them will work into the story. If you want to avoid knowing too much, you’ll want to avoid the cast page. )
As you might expect, their first gig has run them into trouble. There is a Medicean Corporation security chief – a real bad guy. It’s hard to create a believable villain and this one will make the protagonists suffer.
It is early in the story yet, but I am hoping that there is much more to come. There are lots of corporations and places named, which is a good sign that they will actually be in the story.
You may have noticed that I keep using the word Corporation instead of evil empire or federation. That’s because, according to the information page, space was colonized by corporations instead of governments.
“…The largest caldera on the planet was located in the western plains of North America. When it finally blew, it was Pompeii on an unimaginable scale…The Corporations, replacing government throughout the solar system, struck the Dynasty from space with hateful vengeance. It was the first and last war in space, the price of orbital combat too costly to consider again.
In the century following, life has found a state of normalcy. The Mars colonies flourished, and the Corporations dissolved to competition, ever expanding. Civilization now exists largely unchanged on planetoids and moons as far as Jupiter.”
Following my sense of story consistency, you’ll see that it is unwise to cross corporations. There is nothing to stop them from doing whatever … profits them most. In this case, Trip’s first mission involved stealing something from a corporate ship. There is a lot of plot potential possible in Jovian Luck.
As you can see from the art sample, the comic is well drawn and presentable. The angles of view are not just the standard head shots but actually have some perspective. Some of them give a sense of how cramped in a starship would make you feel. Others give the sense of floating in zero gravity space. The colors are done fairly well lending some pop to the inks.
One other side thing, below some of the comics you’ll find the text of the dialog. That’s useful for a number of reasons – search engines, readability (for some comics) and fan service, among others. The thing is that it’s hard to bother with it every time you post an update.
If I had to type up my scripts then it would be easy to copy/paste that stuff in. Otherwise, I’m not sure the extra hassle is worth the result. For a very avid fan, it might be interesting to see what the script looked like before the work was finished.
Back from the text tangent, I’d like to wrap up by saying I really liked Jovian Luck and I can tell the artists do too. It’s an easy read, has a bit of story depth and is fun to look at. I’ll make it a point to check back in on Jovian Luck and see what Trip and the crew have managed to accomplish.
What Did I Learn?
Take your comic concept and give it a shine. Disney took what was good and inspired his team to make it better. To balance this, one needs to analyze the results. Is the work that extras provide worth the payoff?