By Dustin Cabeal
Having enjoyed the first volume of Planetoid, I was actually pretty excited about creator Ken Garing’s return to the world. I, of course, had some reservations about the story, would it hold up to the first volume, is a worthy addition to the universe or is it just a sequel for sequel sake? Most of these of these questions were answered by Garing in an interview I did with him prior to the release of Praxis, but there’s nothing like reading it for yourself.
It is incredibly rare to get an issue like Praxis. Not only did it feel like I was back on the planet, but I also didn’t feel as if I needed any of the information from the first volume. Granted, Garing does a fantastic job of incorporating that information in the dialogue. Instead of feeling like exposition dumps, it instead fits organically with the mood of the story.
The reason being is the subject of the story. A visitor is able to land on the surface of the planet, which at first glance isn’t a big deal if you’re a new reader. The visitor is brought to the settlement and seems to be on a scientific exploration, but this is a group of people on edge. They’ve been repressed and enslaved by the race called Ono Mao, and the unique makeup of the planet makes it impossible for them to leave the planet. The visitor’s arrival is suspicious to the settlement and the council that runs it.
Garing wastes no time revealing the visitor. His appearance was a nice tip of the hat to the first series and showed off Garing’s impressive artistic skills. Garing is a talented storyteller, knowing when to let the art do the work and when the dialogue needs to play a role. No one over talks in this story, nor is it overwritten. Instead, there’s a perfect balance between the art and the writing, and that balance is what grabs hold of you and makes you feel as if you’re a part of the story and world.
The character design feels vaster in this volume than the first. Each race of people is represented, and there’s a sense of this being a very eclectic group of people that have banded together. It’s also visually interesting.
As Garing said in our interview, there’s been a lot of stories similar to Planetoid. Just at Image, I can name more than a few series that are similar to the first volume. What makes Planetoid and Planetoid: Praxis stand out from the crowd is its unique voice and masterful storytelling. While I can think of a lot of titles that are like Planetoid I can’t think of one that’s better than it or better than Praxis which is a triumphant return to the world and very likely the best book of the week.
Planetoid: Praxis #1
Creator: Ken Garing
Publisher: Image Comics