cover image Rogue Planet

Rogue Planet

Cullen Bunn and Andy MacDonald. Oni, $19.99 trade paper (136p) ISBN 978-1-62010-708-9

The eight-member crew of the salvage vessel Cortés sail into a deathtrap world in this vivid psychological twist on the standard alien monster story from Bunn (the Deadpool series). Despite entering a landscape populated by corpses, gigantic otherworldly lungs, and bloody graffiti scrawled in an alien language, the crew don’t try to escape until one of them is murdered by a gooey, tentacled mass. The main cast proves a lot to keep track of, but Bunn provides each a defining character quirk, such as one member’s sotto voce recitation of all the girls he’s loved before. The story combines all the elements of a true jump-scare space opera: Bunn injects his script with paranoia and fight-or-flight impulses, winding up tension and playing on timing, and MacDonald (the Teen Titans: Earth One series) cranks up the body horror with nightmare aliens made of intestines punctuated with eyes, or scorpions formed of human bones and guts. Bold and bright coloring by Nick Filardi (the Nightwing series) pops with neon greens and bloody reds, and he cleverly tints the faceplates of the crew’s space helmets in different colors to help distinguish characters. The eventual solution to this deadly puzzle-box planet hinges on empathy, not science—a fitting humanist cap. This outer-space chiller manages to deliver an intensely spiritual vibe. [em](Mar.) [/em]