cover image Rust: Visitor in the Field

Rust: Visitor in the Field

Royden Lepp. Archaia, $24.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-936393-27-5

A boy named Jet turns out to be a flying robot who helps save the family farm in this steampunk comic that includes elements of other classic “boy and his robot” tales like The Iron Giant. The setting is an alternate world where in the past a huge war was fought with mechanical men increasingly standing in for humans as the war progressed. Forty years later, Roman Taylor is a teenager struggling to keep his family’s farm afloat in his father’s absence with the aid of Jet, who appears one day locked in battle with a larger war robot. This first volume of a proposed four-book series is heavy on setup and planting seeds of future mysteries: Why are so many children around the farm crippled? Where is Roman’s dad, anyway? Lepp tells the story as an animated storyboard—whole pages of moment-by-moment breakdowns make the action easy to follow, and the beautiful sepia-toned art gives a strong sense of both windswept wheat fields and clanking robot battle. However, the story is marred somewhat by flat dialogue, and some of the action sequences drag on. Still, a promising beginning for an intriguing tale. Ages 12–up. (Dec.)