The coolest thing about many Image Comics series is that being creator-owned means the artists can take their chances. Do different things. Defy expectations. The first issue of Planetoid: Praxis felt incredibly fresh and new, but how is issue #2? Is it good?
Planetoid: Praxis #2 (Image Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
Years have passed and life on The Slab has changed. Aden and his friends explore a black market trading post, while Onica and Nkunda confront an entirely new force that has descended upon the planetoid.
Why does this book matter?
Read our interview with writer/artist Ken Garing–not only does he know his stuff, but he sheds light on this awesome series. Not just the art, but its intentions storywise. You won’t be disappointed.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Dang, 8 years. Bold move.
The very first page of this issue reveals that eight years have passed since the previous issue. When was the last time you saw a series do that in issue #2? It appears some of the young kids have grown up and been affected by the horrible treatment of an outsider last issue, and they are the main focus of here. Garing gives the reader a lot of new elements to chew on, which includes new areas explored and new visitors to the planet. Much like growing up, these young characters have a lot to learn and a lot to grow out of. Garing does a good job with characterization for everyone, making them feel unique and separate. The dynamics are quite clear by the end which should pay off readers next issue.
The actual events of this issue range from awe inspiring vistas to barroom brawls. Garing shows us these people live on the edge of society, it’s somewhat uncivilized to say the least, and it appears advanced civilization is on its way in. How these people who barely survived in the harsh realities of the planet adapt to an impeding culture is an intriguing one.
Garing keeps the art honest and simply great. Outside the incredibly detailed technological landscapes are the characters who are expressive and unique. In one page for instance, we see the crowded group vote on who should converse with the new people building nearby. We see the group react to a yay or nay vote, a close up, and then more of the people silent on the nays. It’s a nice way to show the many different types of humans populating the group. Aliens continue to look rather unique and interesting with insectoid faces with hulking bodies or cyborgs walking around. The bar scene is reminiscent of the cantina scene in Star Wars for its variety and its seedy look.
My guess is immigrants.
It can’t be perfect can it?
While there’s a bigger picture story going on and much of the commentary involves the people as a group, I found myself wishing Onica was in the book a lot more. She’s more a supporting character than anything and really only gets to chime in once the plot demands her to come to attention. As of right now it’s unclear who the main protagonist is, if there even is one.
Is It Good?
Another excellent chapter in one of the most interesting and visually compelling science fiction comics out today. Ken Garing is a master world builder and each issue reveals more of his tantalizing world.