REVIEW: 'Ghost Planet' #1 by Jeffrey Burandt and Sean Von Gorman

 


GHOST PLANET #1 

Writer: Jeffrey Burandt

Artist: Sean Von Gorman

Publisher: Scout Comics

Release Date: December 21, 2022

Cover Price: $5.99

A family of deep space explorers rushes to solve the mystery of Ghost Planet before their recently-dead loved ones return to kill them next! Murder birds, eye stalks, and space pigs abound in this 40-page graphic novella. Ghost Planet is a classic sci-fi tale with a body horror twist.

Score:

★★★★☆ 4/5

'Ghost Planet' is a well-crafted sci-fi body horror thriller that simmers with tension until it boils over in a horrific reveal. It's 'Lost in Space' through the eyes of David Cronenberg. Jeffrey Burandt introduces us to a soon-to-be blended family with one side still mourning the loss of a mother. A lot of resentment is displayed by one daughter and the pain to her is still raw. The dynamics of these people ground the story in genuine ways developing these characters that are empathetic and complex. It's the perfect set-up for when things get...weird. 

The challenge with certain horror stories is whether or not the reader is made to care about the people that are in danger. You don't necessarily have to relate to them but you should give a damn if they live or die. Burandt understands this and takes enough time to develop their personalities and convey their bonds as a family to the audience. So when they land on this strange planet and begin exploring, the sudden danger they find themselves in is heightened and you're more invested. What happens from there is even more disturbing and those familial dynamics play out in ways that hit harder. 

Sean Von Gorman's designs and colors are clever and impactful. Von Gorman's line work is clean and clear and the framing of scenes is cinematic. What stands out is the use of monochromatic colors as temperature gauges of scenes. Cool blues for when things are copacetic, red when there's danger, and so forth. It becomes of vital importance later on when perspectives change from one character to the next. It adds urgency and terror to the action. It's a device that works perfectly for the story. 

'Ghost Planet' invites readers to join a family of explorers in turmoil brought together by the horrors found on a mysterious planet. It's haunting and at times shocking. A well-crafted body horror thriller that's hard to resist.    

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