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‘Planet Gigantic #0-4:’ Comic Book Review

Planet Gigantic is a fun children’s sci-fi/adventure comic that involves space travel, superpowers, and an exploration of strange, new worlds. Meet Yuri and Valentina: brother and sister, genetically engineered to have special abilities. Yuri can create and control electrical currents, while Valentina has power over gravity. Sent into space on a fairly boring scientific research mission, they crash land on an enormous, new planet and quickly get caught up in the local politics.

The planet is made up of Seven Realms ruled by seven sisters. One of the sisters, Queen Neva, wages war on the others, though, in an attempt to conquer the planet and increase her own power as much as possible. When Yuri and Valentina show up, she neutralizes their powers, captures, separates, and imprisons them, forcing them to plot their escapes and work their way back to one another.

While imprisoned, Valentina meets up with Lyana, daughter of Ina, Queen of the sky realm. Lyana has a mission of her own that’s vital to the war effort but takes pity on Valentina in the meantime and helps her with her escape. Yuri, meanwhile, meets up with a rock monster and has a rather strange, but ultimately productive, encounter.

This first story arc in the Planet Gigantic series consists of five issues, numbered 0-4. For the most part, they tell the story of Yuri and Valentina and their quest to escape, as well as Queen Neva’s nefarious plans, but Issues #1-3 are supplemented with shorter adventures, which provide backstory for this world and its inhabitants, the ongoing war, etc. It’s a great way of building the world and getting us invested in what’s going on without distracting from Yuri and Valentina’s adventures or getting caught up in a lot of extra exposition.

There’s a trap that a lot of children’s stories fall into of assuming, since it’s for kids and kids will like pretty much anything you throw at them, that you don’t need to put a lot of effort into it. As such, they end up being simplistic and juvenile. Planet Gigantic doesn’t fall into this trap. The story is complex, well crafted, and compelling and will likely appeal to adults as well as to children.

Another great thing about this comic is its use of female characters. Of the two siblings, it’s the sister Valentina who’s the strong and capable one, and Yuri tends to rely on her to figure out what to do in a dire situation. Then, along comes Lyana, who’s even more capable and independent, the best at what she does, and the last hope for her people’s freedom. It’s always refreshing to see strong, well-developed female characters, but it’s especially welcome in children’s stories, as they’re creating good role models.

This is a fun story arc, deeper and better crafted than you might expect. It’s just the beginning, though. Hopefully, we’ll see many more Planet Gigantic adventures to come.


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