05 July 2011

July 5-Missile Mouse Twofer

Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher
Written and Illustrated by Jake Parker
Graphix, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-545-11715-9
Dressed in a smart yellow jumpsuit, with the Diplomacy of Indiana Jones and the subtlety of Robocop, Galactic Security Agent Missile Mouse (MM) is every bureaucrat’s nightmare. Charged with retrieving a mapping device from a far flung sector of space, Missile Mouse is betrayed by his guides, and looses the map to Gurne, a bounty hunter who apparently has history with MM.
Back at headquarters, Missile Mouse first gets yelled at for causing mayhem, and then, as if that’s not enough, he’s assigned a new partner! Missile Mouse and Agent Hyde have been tasked with rescuing an alien scientist who holds the entire knowledge base of his race’s ancestors in his head.
The only thing between them and the scientist? The Rogue Imperium of Planets (RIP), who plan on using the information found on the mapping device along with the knowledge in the scientists head to recreate The Star Crusher, a device so devastating that it can create a black hole on demand. If that wasn’t bad enough, Missile Mouse also has to deal with Gurne, as well as a shocking discovery that could jeopardize the entire mission.
  With the fate of the known universe hanging in the balance, Will Missile Mouse be able to save the scientist, prevent the destruction of the universe, and learn to trust his partner?
Pros: Nathan - Reads just like the great action movies of the 80’s, with lots of excitement and edge-of-your-seat thrills will entertain readers. It is well written, the story moves fluidly, and once picked up, it is extremely difficult to put down.
Jack – I liked the characters and the artwork.

Nathan - Two issues come to mind: the potential of some parental groups feeling that Missile Mouse could prove to be a bad role-model (also reminiscent of 80’s action cinema); and controversy regarding “God Imagery” that happens late in the book.
Jack – I didn’t like the idea that a single machine can destroy half of a galaxy. It’s just crazy!

All-in-all, Missile Mouse: The Star Crusher is one of those “must have” books that should be required for any children’s/young adult program. In fact, get two copies – this one is going to be in high demand.
Missile Mouse: Rescue on Tankium3
Written and Illustrated by Jake Parker
Graphix, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-545-11717-3
Missile Mouse 2
Missile Mouse is back, and this time around, he’s got even more to deal with. In between recovering a fugitive and dealing with a new (robotic) partner, Missile Mouse uncovers a planet-wide slavery ring. To compound his problems, he’s also got to deal with a wicked, amoral bounty hunter with a strong affinity for fire, and a crime boss that feels vaguely similar to Jabba the Hutt.
After Missile Mouse narrowly rescues the fugitive he’s been chasing from a murderous bounty hunter, he discovers that the fugitive was a dupe, tricked into committing crimes he’s not even aware of. This sets off a chain of events wherein Missile Mouse, his new partner, Agent 44, and Lasukus (the former fugitive) must travel to Tankium3 to break up a planet wide slavery ring.
Once on Tankium3, Missile Mouse runs afoul of the local crime boss, King Bognarsh, who forces MM into slavery as well! With the help of Agent 44, and Lasukus, will Missile Mouse be able to break free of his servitude? Will the group be able to defeat King Bognarsh? Will Missile Mouse ever learn to trust a partner? Will the bounty hunter Blazing Bat fry the good guys to a crunchy crisp?
As an added bonus, Parker includes a guide to missile mouse’s universe, including maps of planets, an over view of both Missile Mouse’s and Blazing Bat’s weaponry, defenses and outfits.
Pros: Nathan - Familiar characters make this book real easy to slip into. The artwork stays engaging and exciting. As always, the story flows quickly and cleanly, wrapping up the way action movies should.
Jack – The artwork still is a great draw, and the characters are fun.

Cons: Nathan - Characters feel a little one-dimensional at times, and Missile Mouse’s change of heart about mechanical agents felt slightly forced. Blazing Bat is extremely intense, and may cause nightmares in young readers.
Jack – A few of the characters from Rescue on Tankium3 look a lot like characters from The Star Crusher. There seem to be more than passing similarities between Blazing Bat and Agent Hyde, while Lasukus looks awfully familiar to the scientist.

Ultimately, Rescue on Tankium3 retains the excitement and fun of the series, and definitely leaves it wide open for sequels (honestly, how cool would it be for Missile Mouse to face off against Blazing Bat again?)

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