By Ken Garing

Ken Garing returns to his-creator owned series Planetoid with the new arc Planetoid Praxis and it’s about time! Fans of the original series have been waiting since 2012 to get more of this fantastic science fiction story entirely crafted by Garing himself. No one would be offended if you stopped reading this review and went out and grabbed the book right now. It’s so well done you’ll dread the thought of having to wait a month between issues much less years between arcs. Still, all of that aside, you have to hand it to Garing for pulling off such a great story and such a beautiful comic singlehandedly.

Besides being a beautiful book to look at, issue #1 is a somber story depicting a particular dilemma partly through the eyes of a child. Adults make up their mind’s quickly in this fearful world, and hostile entities — even potentially hostile — don’t seem to stand a chance. But leave it to kids to see differences that the jaded grown ups ignore.

If you’ve read the original series you basically know what to expect here in “Praxis” and without much of a recap of the initial mini series, readers are still informed enough to appreciate the story. Think galactic conflict, genocide, and universe-wide domination and you’ve basically got the premise, but there’s so much more than that. Ken daring is a true storyteller, and there’s as much fun to be had reading along as there is learning the details. Several dialogue-free pages manage to tell us everything we need to know about a particular character, and certainly enough to invest in them emotionally. Garing writes clever and authentic dialogue, but his colorful illustrations are equally informative.

There’s an actual moral to this story, and not some self-righteous message either. Garing writes a story about judging strangers in the face of justified fear, something all too relevant to the real world currently. Luckily this is a comic book so let the escapism begin! Alien worlds, alien creatures, alien spaceships and technology continue to remind us that this is not only fiction, but a rock solid science-fiction story that lives up to the genre in every single way possible. But make no mistake, the cool gadgets and environments eventually give way to a heavy dose of reality as the conflict escalates.

After just the first issue it’s evident that this is going to be a must read series. Though reminiscent of other classic comics such as Metabarons, Fear Agent or Black Science, “Praxis” remains a superbly original book in its own right. Planetoid Praxis is a fully realized world, with detail and finely tuned characters that immediately draw you in and hold your attention. As modern a book as it may be, you wont be able to deny the nostalgic qualities either. Planetoid Praxis has a little bit of everything to offer, which only adds up to a lot of excitement. Tell your local shop to get on this if they haven’t ordered it yet and be sure and add it to your pull list. Ken Garing has made another fine comic and a suitable sequel to his acclaimed series Planetoid.

About The Author Matthew Strackbein

Matt Strackbein was born and raised in Maryland but has called Colorado home for the last 17 years where he lives happily in Longmont with his wife. He began reading comic books at the age of seven after discovering a silver age stash in his grandparents’ attic. Comic books inspired Matt to start drawing, which lead to a successful career as a commercial artist. He has worked in the apparel industry for many years as a production artist and designer. His accomplishments include designing backcountry skiwear for world-class athletes as well as downhill ski race suit designs for the 2014 Winter Olympics for the United States and Canadian national ski teams. Matt currently works as a freelance textile-print designer, but still dedicates time to his first love – comics. With over 200 letters to the editor published, Matt is a known letterhack. He self-publishes autobiographical comics about his struggles to break into the industry, which finally paid off when Dark Horse asked him to produce 2-page back up stories in recent issues of B.P.R.D. Besides his own comics, Matt collaborates on independent books as a colorist and letterer. He also teaches the art of making comics to students of all ages.