I enjoyed the first two issues of Ken Garing’s “Planetoid,” a story about a man whose spaceship gets dragged down onto a planetoid that downs all passing vessels and traps them there. It was a fun story of survival against the odds, and it was worth reading. “Planetoid” #3 shifts the story into high gear with a big change to the story that suddenly felt much less like what readers normally get in comics.
“Planetoid” #3 starts to show what happened when Silas gained the respect and debt of one of the tribes. The comic is now about what happens when Silas has shifted from having two allies to a whole mass of people; suddenly this isn’t the case of “How will these people somehow manage to build/repair a ship and escape?” but “Can Silas form a society that can work together to build/repair a ship and escape?” Society building is hardly a glitzy or flashy story hook, but in the right hands it can be interesting. I like that Silas isn’t able to make everyone happy, but at the same times the mutterings of discontent aren’t too over the top or instantly flagging a disaster to come. Instead, Garing seems to have found just the right balance, and in doing so created an accurate feel for what this process would really be like.
Of course, building a society doesn’t happen overnight, and I appreciate that there’s a passage of time in “Planetoid” too. “Planetoid” #3 opens on Day 7, but we’re already at Day 63 by the time the issue wraps up. It’s a good amount of time for the accomplishments they make, even as it’s recognized that escape could take years. Garing’s got his eye on the long game, and I think that’s part of what makes his story so attractive.
Garing’s figure work is fine, if nothing out of the ordinary. The characters are drawn in a utilitarian manner; it gets the job done. Where Garing’s art really shines is in his drawing of the planetoid itself, and the hulks and wreckage that have crashed down onto it over the year. That’s something that we’ve seen since the first issue, with the jungle of what looked like oil refineries surrounding Silas, and it’s nice to see that attention to the world continue. Everything from the carcass of a ship to a tank covered in mushrooms is drawn with care, and it helps make “Planetoid” #3 give you a greater sense of this being an actual place, not just a random backdrop to set a story.
“Planetoid” #3 even finds time to mix in a little bit of action and conflict. After all, we still need something to drive the story forward and make people want to keep reading. I’d say that “Planetoid” #3 is the best issue of the series to date; this is the sort of comic that just gets better every month. If you haven’t read this little gem from Image, now is a great time to give it a try.