PopCultHQ received an advanced review copy of PLANET OF THE NERDS #1 from AHOY Comics. Available April 17th, 2019, the creative team for this issue features writing from Paul Constant, art from Alan Robinson, colors from Felipe Sobreiro, and lettering from Rob Steen.
Here’s PopCultHQ’s Spoiler-Free Review of…
PLANET OF THE NERDS #1
Artist: Alan Robinson
Colorist: Felipe Sobreiro
Letterer: Rob Steen
Cover Artist: David Nakayama
Three high school jocks in the 1980s are accidentally frozen by an experimental cryogenics device, only to be revived in the computer-driven, superhero movie-loving world of 2019–an era ruled by nerds!`PLUS! A backup series explores the characters’ origins.`EXTRA! Prose and pictures by the finest talents in and out of comics.
PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
PLANET OF THE NERDS #1
Nerd hating jocks. A jock fearing nerd. High-haired floozies, cranky senior citizens, comic cons, and cryogenics. What is going on?!?!
Paul Constant is an ideas man. A master of a simple, yet brilliant, premise. Check out last year’s The Wrong Earth for proof (it’s one of the best books of last year). Want further proof? Read this. Put your feet up. Snort. Chortle. Whatever way you express amusement, get ready for some of that.
Constant builds a landscape that cherry picks from the most conspicuous pieces of the late ‘80s and reheats it to perfection. The bully is ignorantly menacing. The nerd is sniveling and unsympathetic. The hero is hard to respect through today’s lenses.
The writing is filled with so many familiar beats, without being by-the-numbers, that you’d swear this is sitting on a video store shelf next to all the great teen romps of the decade that taste forgot.
Alan Robinson (Back to the Future: Biff to the Future, V-Wars) is the perfect choice to draw this book. His cartoony style lends itself to how serious you should take the story. It’s a heavily stirred mix of Ed Piskor-meets-Darick Robertson. His eye for detail is a huge factor in the book’s authentic feel and you should spend at least another few passes appreciating everything he’s dropped into the foreground and background around his terrifically expressionistic cast.
Randy Elliot also shines in his support act as the penciller of the back-up feature. An artist/inker who was working during the era the story takes place, only further adds credence to how deep-cuts this book is willing to go.
The colorist of Image Comics’ Luther Strode books, Felipe Sobreiro is the out-and-out star of this book. That’s saying a hell of a lot in a book where the Penciller and Writer are hitting home runs on every page.
But without Sobreiro’s overlayed, dotted, and dried color job, this book would not land with half of the success it shoots for. You can shut your eyes and smell the 80’s: varsity jackets, overdone pastel make-up, and all…and the visual change when the big switch happens really speaks to how all-in the colorist went when committing to the premise of the book. It’s the comic book version of a method acting performance.
Rob Steen’s lettering work is a solid contribution that is just as consistent with ‘80s style as the rest of the creative team. Comical and effective in parts and dynamic and impactful elsewhere, it also does a great job of knowing the role it has to play. The lettering never once takes the reader out of the setting the story works so hard at achieving. With a resume that includes such diversity as Wolverine & the X-Men, Shanna the She-Devil and Doc Savage, Steen proves that diversity and adaptability are essential to a great letterer’s arsenal.
A throwback in almost every sense of the word, but man is it enjoyable. The deliciously detailed tropes. The spot-on dialogue and attitudes. This book is a portal to a simpler time beyond using that as its storytelling device. The look and feel of the book nail the era it plays in. A fun read, plain and simple, that washes the reader in unapologetic, enthusiastic nostalgia.
4 out of 5 Stars