CRASH & TROY, ISSUE #1
Writer: Jarred Luján
Artist: Kyler Clodfelter
Publisher: Action Lab
WHAT IS IT?
A buddy action-comedy where a human mutant and a consciousness turned into software break stuff.
Think Wolverine and an optimistic C-3PO as mercenaries for hire.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
Rex “Crash” Ballard and Troy 3.0 have been hired to break a dictator out of Wexia-1’s maximum security prison planet and are enjoying the fruits of their labor when they are suddenly arrested by Chief Fiona Alvarez of the Earth Defense Forces and Head of the Multigalactic Union Security Council.
Troy 3.0 makes a deal to keep Crash out of prison that will see them trying to undo the prison break and bringing them into conflict with the Supreme Leader of Wexia-2 and his black hole manipulator.
Can Crash & Troy recapture the Supreme Leader and escape the clutches of Chief Fiona Alvarez or will they get caught up in the Final Wexian War? No matter the outcome, there is sure to be plenty of action, quips, and Meryl Streep references. Crash & Troy #1 is set to be published July 21, 2021.
Luján’s dialogue is both clever and funny and it works to quickly endear Crash and Troy to the reader especially with so many little moments. For example, Troy 3.0 being the Meryl Streep Fan Club President for 32 terms.
Clodfelter, as artist and co-creator of this series, has developed a sleek design for the characters and futuristic world with a highlight of beefy boys like Crash and the Supreme Leader’s son.
Furlani‘s colors are so bright and vibrant they leap off the page and in a time when many comics lean toward darker, shadowy tones, this is a welcome, refreshing change.
Both action and comedy won’t work if they become bogged down, so Beaudoin's lettering elevates every page with clear choices made to direct the reader’s eyes, let the action flow, and make sure the punchlines (and punches!) land.
The comic opens by dropping the reader right into the action of the prison break without much exposition or narrative captions, so the focus is on Crash and Troy and the explosive action. This is a comic that clearly knows what it's about and it's not afraid to give it to the reader.
The action sequences look like Clodfelter is having fun and it’s hard not to have a good time as well. In particular, a panel in which Crash and Troy are surprised at a restaurant by people dropping through a skylight where the entire creative team combines for such a dynamic and chaotic scene.
There are hints sprinkled throughout at the bigger picture Luján and Clodfelter are scratching at with Crash and Troy headed on a collision course with the Supreme Leader, but they were wise to lean heavily on the comedic moments now and put character first.
The plot never gets bogged down, so character motivations are clear, but this also allows for more nuance and character development to see that there is more to Crash than just being grumpy and perhaps more to Troy than just Meryl Streep and his (almost toxic?) optimism.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
CW: There is some coarse language, but it is used sparingly.
There is repetition in the dialogue with Troy using “Excuse me” in a defiant way a few times and the Supreme Leader referring to his son as “beefy” twice on the same page (he is beefy though), but it read as inauthentic and, yes, these are minor quibbles.
Although it worked well being dropped right in on the action, I was expecting to learn more about Crash’s mutant powers, but no explanation ever came and I hope it’s addressed in later issues.
There are a lot of interesting little hints about this world, such as Crash escaping from Earth’s mutant quarantine, mutants not getting trials, Netflix still being a thing, and it seems impossible these will be addressed in 4 issues, but they are fascinating as they point to a much richer story.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
The dynamic between Crash and Troy exudes both friendship and fun and their banter is an absolute joy to read. Luján knows these characters well and it shows in the dialogue through their distinct personalities and interactions.
Clodfelter and Furlani have combined to present a comic that is the visual equivalent of Crash and Troy’s relationship in that it’s bold, bright, and appealing. It’s a big, bad, colorful universe out there and it’s worth spending time in to see where this series goes.
The plot itself isn’t overly complicated and that helps to focus on the relationship of Crash and Troy to each other and to everyone else. There’s so much potential for this series to be a rollicking good time and to have something to say about male friendship, family, fighting against the system, and dictators.
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Dry Foot by Jarred Luján and Orlando Caicedo
Heavy by Max Bemis and Eryk Donovan
Barbaric by Michael Moreci and Nathan Gooden
If you like the art:
Dead Beats: A Musical Horror Anthology published by A Wave Blue World
We Only Find The When They’re Dead by Al Ewing and Simone Di Meo
Seven Secrets by Tom Taylor and Daniele Di Nicuolo
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Jarred Luján (@jarredlujan) –Writer
New Face-ish: Crash & Troy is Luján’s second published mini-series after Mad Cave Studios Dry Foot.
On the Rise: Luján has had work published in several anthologies with more to come and had his comic The Twin Blades successfully funded on Kickstarter.
Award Winner: Luján was one of the winners of the 2019 Mad Cave Studios Talent Search.
Kyler Clodfelter (@KylerClodfelter) – Artist
Dream Team: Clodfelter has previously worked with Luján on the short comic A Son's Legacy available to read on Luján's website.
Multi-talented: Clodfelter also writes comics and will have a story in Dead Beats 2: London Calling currently on Kickstarter.
Inspired by artists Ryan Stegman, Kris Anka, Joe Madureria, and Ryan Ottley.
Bruno Furlani (@Kheme51) – Colorist
Outlander: Hails from Reims, France.
Dream Team: Is working with Clodfelter on the short comic for the Dead Beats 2: London Calling Anthology.
Buddy Beaudoin (@BuddyOrDie) – Letterer
On the Rise: In addition to Crash & Troy, Beaudoin is lettering the Scout Comics' series Midnight Western Theatre.
Ran the small publishing imprint Gentlemen Pickle with Brennan Freemantle with several series available on ComiXology.
Multi-talented: Beaudoin has also worked as a professional event and portrait photographer.
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Crash & Troy #1 was published by Action Lab Comics and created by Jarred Luján and Kyler Clodfelter. All characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright of the above or their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.