decept_o's Planet Comics #1 - Secret Circle review

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Planet Comics #1 1988

I'd seen the cover to this comic book many years ago, and is an eye-catcher provided by none other than the great late Dave Stevens of Rocketeer fame.

They say you can't judge a book by its cover and such is the case with this anthology title. 

The first story makes an effort to harken back to the quasi-apocalyptic stranded astronaut in time on a future Earth, but the artwork detracts from the story.  Ken Hooper seemed to have trouble with proportions and faces, and these are really the bread and butter of comic book illustrating.  What also made the art annoying was the lack of proper coloring.  Red and pink blotches in inappropiate spots and areas.  Looks like a very cheap coloring attempt, and it shows. 

Still, I liked the concept of the story, just wish the art could have matched the story. 

The next story which actually ties into the first---in a very implausible fashion---is titled "Flamingo" with really nice artwork by Rico Rival.  It is reminiscent of Sal Buscema.  The coloring wasn't bad, but neither was it great, just too much yellow for my taste.  That's just me.  It was still an adequate job. 


Opposed to the first story and art, the second story failed.  It has a very predictable story and seems to be ripped right out of an old "Twilight Zone" episode.  I won't even go into much detail, but a gypsy needs money for her dying father so she goest to a STRIP CLUB--but REFUSES to strip.  After an argument with the owner, she stabs "accidentally" stabs him and runs off in her car, and drives to an abandoned mine.  Why or how she knew to go there?  Regardless, conveniently, there is some electronic equipment with a monitor and console and lo and behold, the title character from the first story, the astronaut, pops on the screen of the monitor.  He is in the future, she is in the "present time" although it is now really the past, and my future is so bright I gotta wear shades...errr.. anyway, it's just an implausible set-up and annoying.  The saving grace is the art, and it's too bad the female character doesn't reveal anyting, instead she is shown wearing a full lengt dress.  A little bit of good girl art, but not really. 


The last story is forgettable and so is the artwork. The first few panels show the artist has a good sense of proportion and faces, but he must have gotten bored or tired through the story, because the remaining pages turn into crap, and he completely forgets proper perspective.  Again, the coloring is awful. 


The only redeeming thing about this comic book is the cover, and the art by Rico Rival who is reminiscent of Sal Buscema, but better.  

If you are a Dave Stevens collector, the best thing to do is rip the cover off and frame it or place it in a plastic sleeve and throw the rest of the book in the trash. 

I don't know if any subsequent issues were published, but if any were, I'd be surprised. 




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