The story opens with Danni and her mother moving into the mountainous logging community of Elkridge, Oregon. Ever since Danni’s father left when she was a baby, the two women have been drifting from place to place. The two eventually settle down with her mother’s abusive boyfriend Hank and his son, Haskell.
Danni has noticed alarming changes in her mother lately in that she is easily distracted and doesn’t take care of herself like she should. She has a habit of putting other people’s concerns before her own. Her mother comes across as being exhausted by their nomadic lifestyle and seems willing to overlook her boyfriend’s bad attitude in exchange for a stable home life for her daughter.
Danni is sick of the moving around and doesn’t care for her mother’s boyfriend. His son, Haskell, is her roommate and he isn’t very communicative. He doesn’t get along with his father and mostly keeps to himself. Needless to say Danni is attracted to him. Sharing a room with him allows her to notice his nightly jaunts and one night she decides to follow him. She discovers that Haskell is an environmental activist who spikes trees. What he’s doing is dangerous and can cause bodily injury to unsuspecting loggers. Haskell recruits Danni to his cause and she begins to go out with him every night.
Danni gets swept up in the danger and adventure of it all while partially ignoring the consequences of her actions. She and Haskell differ in their level of commitment to their call to “save the environment.” Haskwell is more than willing to cross the line to make his point while Danni is conflicted about her involvement. Her best friend, Viv, makes her feel guilty about her actions, informing her of the negative consequences their actions have on the community. Towards the end, Haskell ends up committing the ultimate act of “activism” that provides for a interesting and climatic ending.
This story doesn’t come off as preachy despite the controversial topic at hand. I found the subject matter focusing on ecoterrorism interesting. However, I’m not a supporter of radical activism. I think there can be safer and better ways to protest besides resorting to extreme acts but that’s me. The author presents both sides of the argument, giving a nice balance to such a heartfelt issue from the environmentalist pov and the logging industry pov. There are consequences to be had all around. The characters are used effectively to convey a point or to move the story along but none really stood out for me. The only thing that really engaged me was the topic of which this story is based.
The story does branch off into the romance that develops between Danni and Haskell. It’s a tad bit racy but it doesn’t go beyond kisses. The MINX imprint was specifically established to create larger than life stories for young teens. It is suppose to appeal largely to a female demographic. The artwork is nice and subtle. I am easy, btw and have liked most of the artwork by this imprint thus far. Burn Out is the first MINX title for the 2008 year and I think it has a decent story with decent characters that would be worth a look. A B+.
*This graphic novel can be purchased on June 24, 2008 at your favorite bookstore for $9.99.
*MINX is an imprint of DC Comics