Rogue Planet # 1 REVIEW – But why Tho? A community of geeks
Rogue planet # 1 is a comic book published by Oni Press written by Cullen Bunn, with illustrations by Andy MacDonald and Nick Filardi, and letters from Crank! The plot sees a salvage ship land on the Lonely Orphan, an isolated planet with no solar system to call home, in search of a payload. On the groundng, the crew discovers that a nightmarish adventure awaits them.
The plot serves as a pilot for what is sure to be a scary and biting series. From the opening panel, the reader is confronted with uncomfortable images in a new and uncertain environment. While at first I was worried that it might sound too much like a certain film series starring Sigourney Weaver, Bunn manages to embrace his influences and point them in a different direction which can be even more terrifying.
MacDonald and Filardi amplify the fear that resonates through this book. The artist’s squares and straight lines somehow manage to put me even more on edge while reading it. Things are not pretty in Rogue planet, and that’s potentially intentional. The CortÃ©s, the ship, looks claustrophobic and cold. Space suits seem uncomfortable and cramped. And the planet itself is dark, miserable, and hostile. As one of the characters says, “It’s ugly”. One beautiful aspect of the book is Filardi’s use of colors. From the bright red on the suits inside the ship to the shining crystals on the surface of the planet, the colors of Rogue Planet # 1 get your attention even as you try not to watch the horror unfolding.
The characters face a shortfall in that the world around them is more interesting than them. Once introduced, the quick call of each one makes it difficult to follow up, but Bunn does a remarkable job of blending the moments of the characters into the exhibition beam through the use of dialogue. The captain, Joel Norris, is a greedy badass. Gloria, the nurse, is presented in her opening dialogue as a hopeful dreamer. But there’s always an abundance of characters who, from the first issue, seem like food for whatever horrors they get into. The good thing is. It’s a survival comic, some characters won’t make it. But it would still be nice to see some of these characters grow up before being slaughtered.
Despite character explorations, it is sometimes difficult to tell the characters apart when they are in costume. This has the effect of distracting the reader from what is happening on the page during the action scenes as they have difficulty recognizing the person being attacked. And while the details in the characters’ hair and facial features are varied, the fact that they’re all wearing the same costume doesn’t help keep them apart from each other.
This is perhaps the only negative point of the chaotic and intense moments towards the end of the number. Bunn fantastically manages to keep a feeling of tension throughout the book, where the feeling that something horrible is going to happen on the next page puts you on the edge of your seat as you read it. And when the action breaks out, it unleashes at a frenzied, manic pace that’s as horrific as it is exciting. The gore is detailed and sparkling while the sharp Crank lettering! seems to send these chills deeper into my spine.
Rogue Planet # 1 is a brutal and bizarre comic book that appears to have been created by a merger between Lovecraft and Ridley Scott. The fluctuating pace means every page is filled with bite-sized suspense. The location our protagonists landed on means every square foot is hostile and means what happens in the next issue is completely unpredictable.
Reading this has left me in a constant state of unease, which is the best compliment I can give. You’re never browsing this comic, she won’t let you. Unfortunately, the characters didn’t resonate with me as much as the plot and the scenery in general. Bunn’s attempts to make certain characters likable and unpleasant are welcome, but most fail until a page near the end of the issue. This will hopefully be resolved as the story progresses, and it’s still the primary horror comic book reader that readers should pick up on.
Rogue planet # 1 is available April 1 when the comics are sold.
Rogue Planet # 1
Reading this has left me in a constant state of unease, which is the best compliment I can give. You’re never browsing this comic, she won’t let you. Unfortunately, the characters didn’t resonate with me as much as the plot and the scenery in general.
Writer passionate about comics and cinema. Formerly called Wuthering Heights as “the one with the rabbits”.