DC You's Batgirl team has a new heroine, who is a key player in a Mad Max-style war between bikers in their new series Motor Crush. Babs Tarr, Brenden Fletcher, and Cameron Stewart have relocated from Batgirl's Burnside to their own creator-owned world and readers finally got a chance to visit with today's release of Motor Crush #1 from Image Comics.
Last June Newsarama spoke with the trio in-depth about the then-upcoming series, and with the first issue on stands we returned to break down the issue, the anticipation, and what comes next. Fletcher, Stewart, and Tarr elaborated on the big reveal at the end (without spoiling it for those who haven't read it yet), as well where does the story go from here, how integral is the mysterious Crush drug to the plot, and what we can expect from the first arc.
Newsarama: Motor Crush #1 comes out this week. Are you ready for your fans to finally get a glance at the finished product?
Brenden Fletcher: Oh yeah, Lan. We’re way beyond ready. It feels like an eternity since we announced Motor Crush so yeah, for sure. We can’t wait for readers to get their hands on a copy of Motor Crush’s first issue.
Babs Tarr: A million times yes! I'm so proud of our work on this book I can't wait for everyone to get their hands on it!
Nrama: Right away, I want to talk about the twist. I won't go into spoilers as I know you guys have been tight-lipped but this is a pretty big deal. How did that angle develop?
Fletcher: If I recall correctly, that was one of Cameron’s first revelations about the story after the initial brainstorming session. I handed the team an old animation pitch with a bunch of these wild concepts in place, hoping it had the potential to plant the seeds of what our Image series might become. My recollection is of that “twist” being the first big idea to come out of it. Is that how you remember it, Cameron?
Cameron Stewart: I’m not sure. I forget everything every day upon waking up, but one thing I know is that I will never cease the hunt for my wife’s killer.
Nrama: Oh, okay... so also what does that mean for Domino's relationships down the line? Will we see a change among them?
Stewart: Oh, absolutely. Very little about Motor Crush is as it seems. As we peel back the layers of the various mysteries, you’ll see relationships shift - some for the better, many for the worse - and circumstances change to the point that readers might think twice about the genre labels given to the series.
Nrama: Babs, you're finally able to show off the fashion and aesthetics of Motor Crush, which are all over the place, but still very much to your brand. What were you aiming for initially and did that evolve down the line when you were coming up with these designs to the final product?
Tarr: Lan, "all over the place" makes it sound like I don't have it together, but I know you mean that I have my stamp on the look of everything. That being said, no I think I just want to draw what I want to draw! The only difference now, being on the writing team, is that I see the hits coming or either come up with them myself! By "hits" I mean things like crowd scenes and other detail intensive scenes.
Nrama: Also, being part of the writing team now seemed like a natural progression for you and your career. Do you feel like your artistic storytelling abilities has changed or altered because of seeing things as a writer?
Tarr: Writing-wise, I don't think it has super effected the storytelling process on my end...or maybe it does subconsciously. That's an interesting question, I'm still pretty green at it. I think only time will tell.
Nrama: Have there been talks among you guys about the material origins of Crush and if we'll ever get to that?
Fletcher: We know what Crush is and where it came from. It’s no mystery to us but it’s far from the substance our characters believe it to be. There will be some major revelations coming up for Domino. We’ll dig into the origins of Crush by the end of the first arc. Many, many more surprises to come.
Nrama: Mild spoiler, and I won’t say who, but you kill a character midway through the first issue here, so you guys aren't playing around with the dangers of this world. Will see casualties build up and if so, how will that start to affect Domino?
Fletcher: What happened to no spoilers, bud? Thanks, Lan! [laughs] We’re not bloodthirsty creators over here, but I’ll just say that none of our characters are safe. Not our supporting characters, not our leads. They’re all vulnerable.
Nrama: What do you think is more important to the story? Domino's drive to succeed in this world of racing, both illegal and sanctioned, or the reason why she hoards Crush?
Tarr: The reason why she hoards Crush is more important story-wise. I don't want to say more because I don't want to spoil anything.
Stewart: They’re actually linked. You won’t see enough of the picture to understand just how her drive to succeed relates to her Crush until closer to the end of the first arc but we begin to hint at the connection through the “twist” at the end of first issue. Again, so many questions will be answered by the end of our first arc. You’ll have a much better idea of why Domino fights to win.
Nrama: Okay lastly, where does Motor Crush go from here?
Tarr: From here I hope we go all the way to the top! I just hope this book grows and everyone reads it, enjoys and falls in love with it!
Fletcher: Issue #1 works hard to set up the world and the central conflict. In issue #2 we introduce you to Lola, a very important supporting character. You’ve seen her in some of our promo art and on our social media feeds. Her relationship to Domino is just as central to the story as Domino’s relationship with Crush.