Newcomer Ken Garing’s work on Planetoid #1 displays a beauty and artisanship that belies his “newcomer” status. The story of Silas, a colonial infantryman turned smuggler, who crash lands on a strange alien world, or “planetoid,” that at first glance appears to be uninhabited and covered in the rusting and toxic remains of a heavy industrial society or abandoned industrial endeavor, is one that instantly grabs you, draws you in, and leaves you wanting more. Silas, attempting to escape from an alien warship that has attacked his interstellar smuggling ring and their ship, is forced to make his way across the planetoid’s ruined landscape with only his SIRI-like electronic assistant Ricter, a mysteriously powerful handgun, and some scant supplies. The handgun serves him well by laying low a sentient techno-monster that attacks him, but what use will it be to him if he cannot find any shelter or sustenance and the first human he comes across on this industrio-toxic world is not friendly…and has friends of their own?
Writer and illustrator of Planetoid, Ken Garing manages to create a dark and grimy industrially decaying world inhabited by strange mechanical beings and wayward humans struggling to survive in this hostile environment. He also sets the stage for the familiar, but always welcome, story of a man unintentionally thrust upon the road to redemption or, at least, a new direction in life. Rarely has a rotting techno-noir setting been so beautifully brought to life with such inspired architectural detail. The images of industrial decay on display in Planetoid #1 is nothing new to the eye or the imagination, but Garing has a knack for infusing them with new life through his artwork. Twisted metal landscapes of this type have only looked better that this in movies like The Matrix and Terminator, and Garing’s vision isn’t far behind those.
Setting up a whole new sci-fi sandbox for readers to indulge their taste for dark industrial landscapes, hero’s journey type storytelling, and hi tech adventure and action in, Planetoid #1 looks to be the start of yet another hit for Image Comics and the beginning of a long and storied career in the medium for Ken Garing.