Overview

Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher

Review

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Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher

Credits

  • Words: Jake Parker
  • Art: Jake Parker
  • Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic, Inc.
  • Price: $10.99
  • Release Date: Jan 1, 2010

Rocket pack mice should be a staple of comic books.  Add in a full on science fiction epic and Jake Parker’s graphic novel debut is a whole heck of a lot of all ages fun.

This may be Parker’s first solo book, but it’s not Missile Mouse’s first adventure.  Fans of Kazu Kibuishi’s Flight anthologies will recognize this character as he has appeared in both the proper book and its all ages spin off Flight Explorer.  Villard may have slept on that awesome step into fantasy for young readers, but Scholastic has jumped all over it.  Certainly, the success of Bone in school book fairs is the genesis of Graphix scouring sources far and wide for the next big thing.  With Kibuishi’s Amulet, Scholastic struck gold again and that makes the all ages content of the Flight series even more exciting.  Star Crusher and a Copper collection are proof, both hitting in the first month of 2010.

And there is reason to expect it to be big.  Parker’s designs cry to be animated.  In fact, anyone who saw the awesome trailer for the book knows this.  If you haven’t seen it, click that link. It gives a far better feeling for the tone and adventure of the book than the next few hundred words do.  Anyhow, it is no wonder that it feels like an animated adventure, as that is Jake Parker’s background.  He has worked on movies as big as Dr. Suess’ Horton Hears a Who!  And the work here makes it easy to understand why.

There are the kid friendly designs.  Anthropomorphic mice with rocket packs would have sold me on a comic at about age 8 and I bet for most boys that age, it still will.  The book is inhabited with all kinds of creatures and then there are the cool spaceships that look like some crazy cross between the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television program and Battlestar Galactica (doesn’t matter which version, the influence is the same).

Swift action makes this a compelling read.  Parker fills the book with good old b movie fun.  Think Fear Agent for kids with a touch of Lucas’ epic mythos and you are close to the feel.  There are obvious allusions to Han Solo and it will make the book a fun read for the young at heart as well as the actual young 'uns.  The plot is kind of rote, but it isn’t a problem. Even Star Wars was heavily referenced and kind of tired when it hit.

Galactic Security Agent Missile Mouse is dispatched with his new (and somewhat unwanted) partner to help save a scientist from the evil clutches of the Rogue Imperium of Planets (RIP).  Seems a little familiar already.  Given that the scientist is the mind that will help unlock the secrets of a doomsday device that RIP really wants to get its hands on makes it even more so.  But the fun that is to be had is as universal as the story itself and not a bad thing at all.

A slight warning to parents.  There are lots of explosions in this book that obviously mean deaths.  It is not graphic in any shape, manner, or form and far from the limb severing of the Star Wars franchise, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it. It is also outweighed by the empowering moral center of the story.

Scholastic has found a great partner and resource in the Flight crew’s talents.  If everything they produce together is as solid as this and Amulet, then the reader need not regret the absence of a new volume of Explorer.  Longer form stories are more fun, anyhow.

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