‘Planetoid Praxis’ Is Hard-Hitting And Gorgeous Comic Book Sci-Fi

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Monkeys Fighting Robots

The inhabitants of a distant planetoid have fought off their robot overlords and established a thriving settlement on the planetoid’s mechanized surface. Now, years later, their de facto leader, Onica, must grapple with a new complication when their isolated way of life is threatened by the arrival of an unexpected visitor.

Planetoid PraxisPlanetoid Praxis
Written, Drawn and Lettered by: Ken Garing
Published by Image Comics

 

Writing

Planetoid Praxis is the long-anticipated sequel to the popular 2012 miniseries Planetoid. And although I haven’t (yet) read any of the original, I found the story being told to not only be captivating but easy enough to follow for a newbie like me.

The issue opens with an excellent visual sequence of a lone figure emerging from a spaceship; it is filled with the kind of details that a story that is in a rush would not even focus on. The extended scene, which goes on for pages, sets up both atmosphere and place without using a single word of dialog or narration. In a way, it reminded me of the great opening of the Guardians of The Galaxy film. It’s a great use of visual writing that reveals the truly alien landscape. It’s paced so well that you don’t even speed through it but turn the pages slowly, letting the world being introduced pull you in.

When we finally get to some other characters, we meet a group of children that encounter our mysterious figure. Through a series of events involving the kids and their extended family, we learn that the loner we saw at the beginning is an alien of the Ona-Mao, who are both hated and feared throughout the galaxy for having committed acts of genocide. But is THIS particular Ona-Man friend or foe? That’s the question at hand.  Now we are given details through both dialog and flashback, and a true story begins to take form. A story with questions.

Garing is handling some heavy topics here, which is the goal of all great sci-fi. He paints even the main characters in shades of gray and doesn’t give easy sides to pick on. Planetoid Praxis is setting up what could be a very relevant story for our times

 Art

The art is without a doubt amazing. Filled with detail and intricacies, all handled with the kind of delicate linework you find in the very best of Moebius and Metal Hurlant. The drawings, layout, and designs indeed have a very welcome European comics feel.

Garing is able to draw both expressive faces (alien and human) but also creates some breathtaking landscapes, ships, and technology. He is also a master at “pulling back the camera” and giving us some widescreen panels that are straight out of something like Ridley Scott’s Alien. In fact, H.R. Giger is another artist this comic brings to mind.

Conclusion

You can add Planetoid Praxis to the growing list of great sci-fi comics being done today. I am definitely going back to read the first Planetoid volume so I can be caught up for what is obviously going to be one fantastic book to read and pour over. I suggest you do the same.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Writing
Art
Assistant Comic Book Editor. Manny has been obsessed with comics since childhood. He reads some kind of comic every single day. He especially loves self-published books and dollar bin finds. 'Nuff said!
review-planetoid-praxis-image-comicsA beautifully illustrated sci-fi story.