Writer: Mags Visaggio
Illustrator: Jason Smith
Publisher: Vault Comics
WHAT IS IT?
After surviving some serious family drama in the first volume of Vagrant Queen, we find that Elida Al-Feyr has now settled down to a placid life on a backwater planet. It sounds nice, right? But has that ever actually worked for any sci-fi character??
So how to describe what happens here? How about this: Vagrant Queen: A Planet called Doom is like Star Wars meets Star Trek, if Obi-Wan had secretly been galactic royalty, and the Borg wanted him to rule the galaxy for them.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
First off, if you haven’t read the previous story arc, you should. It’s good stuff! But even if you didn’t read volume one, and you don’t like homework, you should be able to pick up A Planet Called Doom pretty easily.
The story starts with a space armada searching for a mysterious and dangerous “White Ship.” A significant amount of chaos, excitement, and death occurs out in space, all the while our hero Elida is honing her gardening skills and enjoying life off the grid. By the end, we find out it's all connected, and the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance!
I enjoyed Elida’s character in the original Vagrant Queen, and she continues to be a great protagonist.
The concept for this story, and where it goes in the first issue, sets us up for an even bigger, crazier adventure as we accelerate into volume 2. It sounds like Elida’s family was even more important than we thought, and that the galaxy isn’t done with the House of Bel-Ior yet.
I also am intrigued by what isn’t in this book. When last we saw her, Elida was embarking on a search for Earth with her companion and frenemy, Isaac. Isaac is this universe’s version of Han Solo, or maybe Peter Quill. He's not the sort of character that just disappears for no reason. Where is he? What trouble is he causing now?? I can’t wait to find out.
The art by Jason Smith is expressive and fun. He is perfect for a book like this and his work adds a bit of cheeky B-movie feel to the characters and the action.
The rest of the creative cast is back for volume two, as well. Harry Saxon continues to give the book a bold, solid look with big blocks of color, and letterer Zakk Saam does a great job of keeping the balloons readable and the sound effects interesting.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK?
There were a couple parts of the space battle at the beginning that took a bit of time for me to figure out. A lot of the battle is told visually, which I like in general. But for whatever reason, it did not flow for me as easily as I would have liked.
I am not sure why, but the “Vish” sound effects did not do it for me. Does a spaceship or ray gun “vishing” at an enemy sound threatening to you? Vish! Vish! Nope. Just isn’t happening.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
If you liked the first volume, you will probably be happy with A Planet Called Doom, too. Same writer, same artist, same overall space opera vibe. Or more generally, if you like the parts of Star Wars where Luke is being pulled against his will into a destiny that he didn’t ask for and is not ready for, then Vagrant Queen: A Planet Called Doom is going to make you happy.
Elida is a character who is very skilled, and very human. She makes mistakes, gets caught, gets saved, and in turn saves the day. This first issue only begins to show why she is such a great protagonist, but Visaggio and Smith have things set up for a bonkers, star-spanning adventure here.
Plus, with Vagrant Queen coming to a TV near you sometime soon (the first trailer can be found here) it’s a great time to read ahead a bit so you are ready when the series drops on SyFy later this year!
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Eternity Girl by Magdalene Visaggio & Sonny Liew
Kim & Kim by Magdalene Visaggio & Eva Cabrera
Princess Leia by Mark Waid and the Dodsons
If you like the art:
On the Verge by Jason Smith
Andrew Jackson in Space by Visaggio and Smith
Valérian and Laureline, by Pierre Christian and Jean-Claude Mézières
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Magdalene Visaggio – Writer
Multitalented: Studied Ethics & Moral Theology at Seton Hall before going into comics
Studied with Scott Snyder as part of DC Comics Writer Workshop program.
Is an outspoken champion for LGBTQIA+ rights both in her comics and in her daily life. She has been nominated for multiple GLAAD Media Awards as well as twice being nominated for Eisner Awards!
Jason Smith – Artist & Cover Artist
His work often combines traditional and digital media
Has been making comics since 2010
Outlander: Hails from Ontario, Canada
Harry Saxon – Colorist
Outlander: Lives in England, but born in Greece
Test of Time: Has worked as an independent illustrator and colorist since 1999
Zakk Saam – Letterer
Inspired by Nate Piekos/Blambot, Clayton Cowles & Dave Sharpe
Dream Team: Also worked with Magdalene Visaggio and Harry Saxon on Sex Death Revolution
Adrian F. Wassel – Editor
Name Recognition: Is the CCO & Editor-In-Chief of Vault Comics, and plays the role of editor on most, if not all, of Vault's titles
Also runs Vault with his brother and father
Has personally helped other comics creators in their endeavors, even if they aren't Vault creators
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