Trekker: Rites of Passage
(A/W) Ron Randal
Dark Horse Comics
Peerless bounty hunter Mercy St. Clair is enlisted to safeguard a vulnerable young woman en route to her home world, though exactly where she’s going and why is a mystery. But her need for protection becomes apparent when cyborg assassins look to terminate Mercy’s ward . . . and Mercy!
Trekker: Rites of Passage is a great little sci-fi read, with a solid world around it. The action is exciting, the lead is bad ass, and tons of little details add to the illusion. Sadly, however, while the world building is excellent, our story within that world is a little sparse. By hopping points of view constantly, we never get to know any one character well, and the threats to those characters never feel all that threatening. Trekker is a good read, but it falls short of greatness, even as you’re cheering it on.
The art is clearly the best feature. Its kept nice and simple and there’s very few misteps. Each of the characters looks great, the action is well drawn, and again, the world around the story is great. And our lead’s costume changes are spectacular. It’s almost like they had so many excellent designs for her that they couldn’t choose just one!
And the story has a lot of promise, it just falls a little short of its potential. Mercy is a great main character; cool, strong, solid sense of what’s the right thing to do, and a mysterious past to unravel. It’s just a shame that everything comes so easily for them all. There’s no build up, there’s no “how will they ever get out of this!?” Every ambush is easily dealth with, every obstacle tossed aside, and even the big, bad cyborgs just require a change of ammo and a new tactic. There’s no sense of danger, there’s no challenge, and that turns a great sci-fi read into a checklist of tropes to deal with on the way to all-too-easy conclusion.
You might still like Trekker: Rites of Passage, and you might still care for Mercy St. Clair at the end of it, but I doubt this will ever be any one’s favorite adventures. Ultimately, Rites of Passage is just a huge tease, building up all this promise, all this cool, and a whole lots of mysteries, and then just dropping them with the easiest conclusion this side of The Pokey Little Puppy. I’m left wanting more Mercy, but I want it to mean something, too.