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Rogue Planet 1 Main

"Rogue Planet #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Oni Press

article-cover

Written by Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by Andy MacDonald
Colored by Nick Filardi
Lettered by Crank!
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99

Review:

The crew of the salvage vessel Cortes has met its largest challenge to date on the Lonely Orphan, a planet without a star system. It's here they find a massive payload that could set them up for life...if they can make it out of there in one piece. Something evil and monstrous is lurking on this isolated planet.

I feel like it's impossible to talk about a sci-fi horror story without making some kind of comparison to the Alien franchise, so let's get that out of the way up front. Yes, there are some similarities in terms of how this crew is set up and the nature of their mission, but that's about it. The monsters unleashed in Rogue Planet would make a xenomorph run and hide like a scared puppy. This is something else.

The beauty of Rogue Planet is that it caught me completely offguard. I have faith in writer Cullen Bunn. The guy is a master storyteller and definitely knows his way around a horror tale. That being said, this debut issue takes a little while to get going. We spend a good amount of time meeting the crew, learning about their operation, and generally establishing this world. Just when I was starting to get a little bored with it, insanity hit the page. If this was a roller coaster, all of that preamble would have been the long, slow climb up to the top and then there is a MASSIVE drop that's still going on when this first issue ends.

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Artist Andy MacDonald has created a monster that will haunt my nightmares for some time. This hulking, unsettling mass of eyes, teeth, and...I don't even know what those things are that are hanging off it, moves with unnatural speed and unparalleled power. It seems to infect anything it touches, pulling its prey into it and making it part of its giant amorphous body.

This creature is brought to sickening life by colorist Nick Filardi. It has the texture and tone of a gigantic tongue. I'll point out again that it has many teeth and eyes, so let that image float around your head for a little while.

Filardi creates a nice contrast between the sci-fi and horror aspects of Rogue Planet. The first half of the issue looks and feels very futuristic. The colors are dark yet clean. This is the wonder of space travel where anyone and everyone can float through the stars. This is enhanced by the valuable crystals we see on the Lonely Orphan, shining brightly with promises of a rich future for the crew. All of this is swept away the moment that beast shows up. That's when the horror aspect of the book really takes over, plunging these travelers into darkness.

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There are hints at the terrors that await the crew when the strange sound begins. Letterer Crank! delivers some of the creepiest tones here with a font that conveys an animalistic voice. It's guttural and powerful, hanging in the air like an omen for our travelers.

This is only the beginning. Just when you thought you'd seen it all and this big tongue monster is the big bad, there's a final-page surprise that freaked me right out. You might think you know what this crew is up against, but you are not ready for the jaw-dropping horror that awaits. If this is what we can expect from Rogue Planet, we're in for quite a treat.

Grades:

Story: fourstars Cover
Tfaw Buy Button
Art: fivestars
Overall: 4.5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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