Roman Taylor is struggling to keep his family farm going. Then, one day, his peaceful world is shattered by the arrival of Jet Jones, a boy with jet pack who is pursued by a giant war robot. Roman has been trying to reconstruct a smaller robot to help with work around the farm. Jet Jones doesn’t seem to think it’s such a good idea. There’s a lot of mystery surrounding these robots. They were created to help fight in a devastating world war. But whose side are they really on. What are they really programmed to do?
This graphic novel is an intriguing start to the series. The setting is unclear, though the sepia illustrations and older-looking machines made it feel as if it’s in the past, perhaps post-WWI. The coloring also contributes to a grim atmosphere where it looks like getting by is a struggle. While it’s an interesting story, with action and adventure, it also raises questions about the role of technology in our lives. Is all technology good? Or is some technology inherently evil? Roman’s attempt to rebuild and reprogram a war robot is a variation on the theme of beating swords into ploughshares. There are also hints that Jet is more than he seems, raising questions of what it means to be human. I see lots of potential here and am looking forward to Volume 2 Rust: Secrets of the Cell.