Cover to 'Motor Crush' #6. Art by Babs Tarr/Image Comics

Cover to ‘Motor Crush’ #6. Art by Babs Tarr/Image Comics

By Arpad Okay. The second act of Motor Crush opens, and it’s a dream of the past. A tribute to two: Sully Swift and Nova Honda. Throwback crime story about the racing capitol of the world in the years before Domino Swift knew how to drive. The friends and family of the Swifts and how their choices created Nova City as we know it today.

The art matches the flashback reverie style of the story. Cameron Stewart, who usually works with Babs Tarr on the layouts, is doing the finishes himself. Tarr and Stewart built the look of the series on Tarr’s contemporary style. They made Motor Crush look like a magazine that comes out in the future.

Interior page from 'Motor Crush' #6. Art by Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr, and Heather Danforth/Image Comics

Interior page from ‘Motor Crush’ #6. Art by Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr, and Heather Danforth/Image Comics

Stewart drawing alone is retro, Hanna-Barbera, Gold Key Comics yesterday. The exotica aesthetic of Nova Honda back in the day is an Esquivel bungalow with a Ditko Dr. Strange drug lab in the basement. The Swifts’ struggle feels genuine despite the presence of the inexplicable. No matter what the look is, Motor Crush is a character drama of merciless authenticity and humanity. A Palomar story, the beauty in it coming from a reverence for family, community, and time.

Team Motor Crush knows how to put together a damn fine series. The issues themselves are beautiful objects, thanks to the superior publication design. You could jump into the deep end here and you can still enjoy it. Solid true crime genre fiction yarn. For readers who approach this issue as the first after an intermission, Motor Crush succeeds in stoking both the fires of satisfaction and suspense. You get answers to questions you didn’t know you had. You get hints that drive you broncos. You have to wait a month and then they’re going to get you all over again with the joy, the agony, the elation that is reading this one-of-a-kind-book.

Image Comics/$3.99

Written by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr.

Illustrated by Cameron Stewart.

Colors by Babs Tarr and Heather Danforth.

Letters by Aditya Bidikar.

Publication Design by Tom Muller.

9 out of 10