Back in December I had the pleasure of reviewing a copy of Raw Studios's BAD PLANET, the graphic novel series from Thomas Jane, Steve Niles, James Daly III, and Tim Bradstreet (check out that review HERE). That version was off the hook in terms of its hardbound-binding and Black & White treatment that it's almost unbelievable that the Raw Studios boys have all but out-done themselves again with the latest version of BAD PLANET, this time in color... and in glorious 3D!
The basic storyline is pimpin': an alien Convict escapes his captors and hurtles towards Earth, but all is not free and clear when a race of alien arachnids also crash land on Earth, pitting the Convict against his mortal enemy in a battle to save the human race, and stop the arachnids from turning Earth into...a BAD PLANET!
In the tradition of genre-style comics, that of the likes of TALES FROM THE CRYPT and other EC Comic tales, BAD PLANET is heavy in its action / sci-fi / horror, with just enough exploitation of big-boobied "scientists" to make it entertaining as all get-out, and just what the doctor ordered if you're sick of the same ol' superhero comic book shtick. There's no denying the awesomeness of the comic in terms of content, as it hasn't changed from the previous Black & White version. So how does the color (and the 3D) hold up?
I really dug the simply Black & White look of the previous BAD PLANET release, but the color version... is just as impeccable. Everything looks amazing, each segment (done by different artists) retains their diverse feel, and having it in color definitely amps up its visual impressiveness. And yes... the 3D section is pretty darn cool. The alien spiders seem to jump out of the page at you, the attack on the army with grenades being thrown and hordes of these beasts running around is impressive, and seeing the hero's car literally fly off the page and into the sky in front of your very eyes is downright crazy. And as a special bonus, if you're moving the 3D pages while looking through the glasses, it looks like the 3D images are actually moving as well. I'm not much for the 3D gimmick in comics normally, but they really nailed it's effectiveness with BAD PLANET. Very cool!
Other main different with this release are the supplement pages at the end, with concept art, alternative covers, an afterward from Raw Studios and how they created BAD PLANET, fan art from online contests, a published interview with the creators, and a few pages of the 'script' they used to help storyboard the final comic. Very cool end section has 20-30 pages of extras, all of which are not only interesting (if you're into the artwork and all), but visually mind-blowing. And as this is Volume I, I'm also happy to report that there's teaser for BAD PLANET Volume II near the end, which promises a 2010 release. Can't wait!
BAD PLANET Volume I in color and 3D is a nice companion to the previous Black and White version. The panels are exquisite and beautifully rich, and the 3D is surprisingly effective. But what makes this worth double-dipping from the B&W version is the plethora of supplement materials at the end, which showcases even more art from the volume (from pencil drawings to the final covers), allowing you to dive that much deeper into the crazy mindset of Jane, Bradstreet, Niles, and Daly. BAD PLANET Volume I from Raw Studios should belong in every genre fan's graphic novel collection.
Grade: 4 on 4