Friday, October 17, 2014

Review - Planet Gigantic #1

"Nice landing. Some "master of gravity" you turned out to be."

Exploration brings with it a lot of unknowns. Discovering those unknowns is the fun part and naming them can be even more exciting. Sometimes though, it's just as simple to name a place something based on its physical description, as in Planet Gigantic #1 from Action Lab Entertainment. The issue is written by Eric Grissom and illustrated by David Halvorson. It's broken into two stories: "Planetfall!" and "The Eye of the Sun."

When two genetically-engineered teenagers Yuri and Valentina crash-land on a strange planet, they must learn to rely on themselves and their still-developing powers as they face down a giant rock monster. The rock monster turns out to be the least of their worries though, as their encounter with Queen Neva of Woodmere doesn't go quite according to plan. Meanwhile, in "The Eye of the Sun," Lyana the Seeker braves a cursed tomb in search of the fabled Eye of the Sun.

Blending the worlds of space and fiefdoms, Planet Gigantic #1 is a happy medium of two genres. Grissom's world is equal parts technology and kingdom, which makes the story feel pretty imaginative and capable of bigger things. As leading characters, Yuri and Valentina are pretty likable, even if they read somewhat familiarly as a cocky brother and slightly more cautious sister. Their encounter with the natives of Woodmere throws them right into the thick of things, even giving them a glimpse into their adoration towards Queen Neva. Grissom's script is pretty airy and breezes along, moving the reader from discovering the planet to discovering the enemy to discovering trouble. It's a simple set-up, but it works.

Planet Gigantic #1 relies on something of a funky art style, courtesy of Halvorson's penchant for doodling. That's not to say the art feels simple; rather, he imbues it with a sort of hands-off feel that really works for the context of the tale. Characters are illustrated with newspaper comics accents and features, with sharp, bold outlines defining their bodies and faces. The settings show a certain level of intricacy that make the panels feel very dynamic, especially those where the two teens are in the midst of combat. Panels feel exciting as well, with a lot of variation in their presentation and positioning.

Planet Gigantic #1 is a pretty fun first issue. It does a great job of introducing the reader to a new world that boasts a blend of technology and sorcery in some respects. Grissom's script is very evenly paced and pretty light, not really requiring a lot on the part of the reader to fully grasp what's going on. Halvorson's illustrations are the perfect style for the work as well, offering a style that feels pretty relaxed. Planet Gigantic #1 is a pretty strong first issue that sets the tone for an adventurous tale in a new world.

Planet Gigantic #1 is in stores October 29 (Diamond Order code AUG140943).


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