Available formats: epub
on June 04, 2013 :
In one way the main character is like a Batgirl gone bad and comes a little unhinged pursuing what she sees as justice. In another way, Pandora is a good samaritan who slides in and out of stranger’s lives performing good deeds, but with a catch. To the ruling class of the city, she is a nightmare behind the wheel of a big @##, indestructible car.
The story is set during the great depression and the golden age of comic and pulp magazines. It's paced like a comicbook and there are a lot of neat little comic winks hidden throughout the adventure. The fight scenes are brutal, the details are engaging and plot reveals kept me interested though out. This ebook also includes slick illustrations of Pandora’s car (a Phantom Corsair) that might make you want one.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on March 26, 2013 :
Based on when this epulp was published the writer can either read tea leaves or is tuned into the zeitgeist because he clearly saw the spirit that manifested the Occupy Wall Street movement a few months before it arrived. I imagine that if Pandora Driver was still alive today she would be in sitting the thick of it.
This story takes place in the late 1930s and it's about holding the corrupted accountable for their dirty deeds. This story is raw, unbridled, honest, surprising and weird, in the good way. It exposes what people say and do behind closed doors. It pulls no punches and you never know what's coming next.
The story is broken into 4 parts. Part 1 is a biography of a life falling apart. In Part 2 our hero finds her power. Part 3 explores deception and corruption. In Part 4 a young woman tries to untangle right from wrong.
The tone of the story reminded me of Black Dahlia or Sin City (updated noir) and LA Confidential (if they dumped the charm). The character makes me think, Batgirl born on the wrong side of the tracks.
I like the old pulps, I like Noir and I can take the punch this story delivers. Pandora Driver takes us on a bumpy ride but it's a trip worth taking.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on March 05, 2013 :
Forget Occupying Wall Street...
...Pandora Driver runs big business off the road and kicks it square in the teeth.
Drawing inspiration from classic comic book super heroes, bathed in the harsh back-lighting of film noir, Pandora takes us from the smokey backrooms of hopping speakeasies to the gilded opulence of dusty boardrooms. Truly a new pulp heroine plucked from the ranks of the proletariat, Pandora rises up from the gutter to defend those who can ill-afforded to defend themselves.
Pandora Driver makes for a sexy and thoughtful read, filled with clever dieselpunk tech and engaging characters. As the first chapter of a high-adrenaline series, I look forward to Pandora's continuing adventures.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on March 01, 2013 :
The Silver Age of pulp superheroes is back! John Picha's "Pandora Driver: The Origin" is a high-speed chase through a black-and-white landscape of good and evil set in Depression-era America, where angelic farm girl Betty falls from grace and trades her halo for righteous vengeance on the forces of greed and corruption in the glittering lights of Citadel City.
Betty's story is told in stark contrasts as hard times force her family from the farm to the heartless city, and Betty is forced to make ever more desperate choices to keep her crumbling family from falling completely apart. This adventure is a thrill ride, and sexy at times, but leave your fifty shades of gray behind--Betty makes her way in a six-panel, black and white world where Frank Miller would find himself at home, and she's not shy about using her body or her wits to get what she wants.
The storytelling style makes it hard, at times, to really empathize with Betty--we're not taken deep into her character to share her feelings. But make no mistake, the story doesn't suffer for it. Betty is no ordinary girl--she's a superhero in the making, and superheroes are, by necessity, a breed apart. Betty impressed me as a feminist heroine because she was clever and thorough in her plans for justice and vengeance, but she's still a very flawed, intriguing character, and not yet quite comfortable in her superhero role, a matter which I expect to see rectified as the series continues.
Who needs to read this book: Fans of Frank Miller-style graphic novels will find a familiar landscape in the intense, action-packed tale of how Betty finds her power and vengeance as the mysterious Pandora Driver. If you like classic superheroes (with a touch of psychosis) like The Phantom, The Shadow, and the broodier side of Batman, Pandora Driver will find herself a parking spot on your keeper shelf.
Who else needs to read this book: Graphic artists, because this one needs to be at least a 12-issue series, followed up by a graphic-novel omnibus.
(reviewed the day of purchase)