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‘Trekker: Rites of Passage’ (review)

Trekker: Rites of Passage
Written and Illustrated by Ron Randall
Published by Dark Horse Comics
In Stores: February 8, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-50670-248-3

I was thrilled to have a chance to read and write this review for Ron Randall’s Trekker: Rites of Passage TPB.

Trekker continues to be one of my favorite comic book series of all time.  Originally appearing in short stories in the Dark Horse anthology comic Dark Horse Presents, Trekker features the continuing adventures of bounty hunter, Mercy St. Clair.

Creator Ron Randall keeps expanding and lovingly honing the world of Trekker and is willing to tell different types stories to keep things exciting and more personal.

As a reader this is wonderful as I never get bored and I am always kept on the edge of my seat with fresh story telling.

A lesser creator, one who plays it safe would just stick to the same old same old and never take a chance at something different. Randall, however, is always looking to broaden and round his characters and as a loving fan himself of his own work he is never willing to compromise the integrity of them, willing to show different sides of them while always keeping them turned to who they are.

Rites of Passage takes place a short while after the tragic events of the previous story, Train To Avalon Bay. Mercy is on a case again. Looking for a pack of “off-world hitters” and she inevitably winds up in the hire of protecting a young girl named Jekka and helping an old acquaintance to get her back to her home world. She gets more then she bargains for as she discovers new information about her mother and the world she knows begins to broaden and unravel.

Like other stories he has told featuring his talented young bounty hunter, Rites of Passage continues the personal journey of St. Clair. Much like the one-shot color story “Sins of the Fathers” which is amazing and can be found in the Trekker Omnibus also published by Dark Horse, this story is both action packed and full of emotion. By making Mercy almost a “tag along character, and though central not the most important character in her own book, Randall, takes the route of inner journey over outer journey with her and through her actions and the actions of the characters around her whom she is protecting we get a thoughtful glimpse past her “hardened shell” exterior and into who she is as a person.

Ron’s artwork is nothing short of beautiful and he continues to prove himself as a master of composition, design and depicting emotion in his panel to panel work. Continuing with the color style and look that was created by the previous colorist Jeremy Colwell, Randall wrote, drew and colored this story himself, collaborating with Cowell on the dynamic cover art.

The entire Trekker oeuvre is a feast for the eyes and brain.

A smart, sexy, rough and tumble main character that is the perfect mixture for a comic book heroine. She is someone to look up to as she is no nonsense and not over sexualized. She is a strong, yet vulnerable character. Mercy St. Clair is badass and I kind of love her.

30 years ago this year I discovered her and the denizens of New Gelaph. I fell in love with the bounty hunter Mercy St. Clair and I love and admire the work of Ron Randall. That love and respect is once again renewed with Trekker: Rites of Passage.

Pick up Trekker: Rites of Passage at your local comic shop as it was released this past Wednesday. If you are unfamiliar with the series you can also order the Trekker Omnibus TPB which collects all the previous older stories and Trekker: Train to Avalon Bay TPB the most recent release to this new one from your local comic shop or online retailer.


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