Ahoy Comics is one of those newer comics companies I pay attention to. They’ve had really great books in Wrong Earth and Captain Ginger. Granted, the other comics they’ve released haven’t grabbed me as much, but I always appreciate someone taking chances when it comes to storytelling.
The company is now embarking in something of a “second wave” of comics, and this one deals with a subject many of us into comic books have experienced: Bullying. Take the jump for our review of Planet of the Nerds #1.
Writer: Paul Constant
Artist: Alan Robinson
Colorist: Felipe Sobreiro
Published by: Ahoy Comics
Cover price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: 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.
A BULLY LANDS IN A NERD WORLD ORDER
Many of us have experienced bullies first-hand. When my brother and I were in high school, one of the guys in the class took a dislike to us and would shove the two of us around. Finally, he went too far, pushing me into a pile of snow. My brother locked arms with him, leaving me free to hit his back until he finally gave up and ran away. It was the only time in my life I’ve resorted to violence, but at least he didn’t bother us any further.
This comic explores what bullies are like, and exposes their actions to the rest of the world who have been so fortunate as to escape this experience. Lucky you!
There are four main characters in POTN. First is the nerd being bullied: Alvin Pingree. He’s overweight, wears glasses, has long blonde hair, is a scientist, and isn’t popular with the ladies. Next up is Chad, the bully. He wears a “letter” jacket, is a jock, and takes a dislike to anyone who is not like he is. Then there’s Steve, a jock similar to Chad, but he’s in a relationship with Jenny that seems to keep him mellower than his friends. The fourth is a person of color, but his main role is to support Chad, specifically laughing at his jokes, among other things. He also has a “letter” jacket, but we don’t know much more about him yet.
The comic opens up on the last day of school in June of 1988. Chad is bullying Alvin despite his friend’s warnings that a teacher is nearby. Steve is puzzled about Chad’s behavior. Why does he persecute Alvin so much?
That night, Chad and his friend follow Alvin to The Foothills, where he has a secret laboratory. When Chad, Steve, and his friend burst in, Chad hits Alvin’s equipment with an ax he’s picked up along the way, and some fluid sprays all over the trio.
Let’s just say that when the three of them wake up, some time has passed and, worst of all, they seem to be just outside a comic convention—the LAST place Chad would ever want to be.
Dealing with bullying is always a good thing because we need to let people know just what impact that can have on one’s life. The script is strong and fast-paced, developing the characters so that we know they are different from one another. We have many mysteries to resolve, including why Chad behaves as he does, what happened to Steve’s girlfriend, what Alvin is up to, and what will happen to the three of them now.
There’s also a secondary story focusing on Alvin. We see some early happenings to him as he begins his experiments. All I can say is, “Poor lizard!”
I always want to compare two aspects of art when I review a comic: Character and their expressions, and action sequences. The facial expressions are very strong, and when things happen, they’re very clear and understandable. Both work well in telling this story.
I particularly enjoyed the panel showing Alvin being surprised in his lab by the three guys. Good job of showing what’s going on as well as telling us what’s there and what all of them are feeling. Well done!
BOTTOM LINE: Where No Bully Has Gone Before!
I shouldn’t take pleasure at the problems of others, but man—is Chad in for some education in the next few issues! Today’s explosion of “nerdmania” will show him a world he hoped would never happen.
I hope this book will take its place next to Paul Dini’s graphic novel Dark Knight: A True Batman Story. The situation is somewhat different, but both display bullying and aggressive people in a way we can understand—through the eyes of their victims.
Now is the perfect time to jump on board, so I recommend you let your comics shop know you want this comic! It will educate some and show many of us that we aren’t alone when it comes to being bullied.
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Planet of the Nerds #1
Dealing with bullying is always a good thing because we need to let people know just what impact that can have on one’s life.