ComiXology Original, Lost on Planet Earth, written by Magdalene Visaggio, with art by Aguirre, and letters by Zakk Saam debuted last month and it shook me to my core. The first release for this creative team with Joe Corallo editing, under the name DEATH RATTLE, last issue showcased a dynamic lead character searching for true path to happiness outside of parental and personal expectations. A sci-fi story, the series begins focused on characters over the grand Interplanetary Union Fleet Basil initially wanted to join. Now, in Lost on Planet Earth #2 we get to see Basil cope with her decision, get a glimpse at her familial dynamics, and see the budding relationship between her and Velda.
There is a lot going on in Lost on Planet Earth #2 in the best way. While we get a look at the impact of Basil’s choice to run from her entrance exam on her friends and family, we’re offered up perspectives that are less “you’re ruining your life, how dare you” and more explanatory of the confusion those close to her are feeling as well as their worry for her future in an emotional and scolding way.
The drama in Lost on Planet Earth #2 creates a story about finding yourself despite what people want for you. But this path isn’t easy. While Basil is trying to find herself, those closest to her are telling her that she’s wrong and leading with her to come back. There is an authenticity to the way that Visaggio crafts dialogue that makes this series hit home.
While Lost on Planet Earth #2 is filled with wonderful storytelling from Visaggio, it’s one moment in the opening of the issue that is a standout. Not because it’s epic in science fiction scale, but it is emotionally potent for my own experiences. As I mentioned in my review of the last issue, I’ve made the decision to leave behind a future I thought I wanted before, one that was secure. When I did this, my family was upset. But what felt like shame initially, I learned was concern. They were scared that I didn’t know how much harder I would be making my life. Visaggio captures this parental worry as Basil’s parents Lalo and Marcela discuss their daughter’s future. While her mother Marcela is open to letting her daughter find her way, Lalo is worried and frustrated. It isn’t that he doesn’t want his daughter find her happiness, it’s because he sees her choice as making her life “immeasurably harder.” This delicate balance of showcasing disappointment and concern for a child is hard to pull off on the page, but Visaggio does it well.
But while we get to feel the concern from Basil’s family, we also get to see its negative impact on her, especially when her best friend confronts her about leaving her all alone. In all of this Velda is showing her a new way of life, one that acknowledges the hardships of non-humans under the Union Fleet, causing Basil to question what she thought was morally right.
I would be remiss to not mention the beautiful and emotive art from Aguirre. The beauty not only comes in how they’ve mastered hair and facial emotions, but also how they’ve utilized colors. The colors of Lost on Planet Earth #2 are what strike me. The varying shades of brown used for Basil and her family are warm and authentic. While this may seem like a small feat, it isn’t, often times darker skin tones appear muted in print, but hear they’re vibrantly beautiful and distinct from one another. But while the skin tones of humans delights me as a brown woman reading comics, it’s Velda’s skin tone that showcases Aguirre’s deft hand. Velda is a grayish blue, easy to appear ashen, but instead she is warm, even in cool tones. To take it a step further, Velda’s tattooed arms are done in such a way that they are not just designs on laid on her skin, but they take on the pigmentation of what the colors would like on her gray skin tone. It’s this attention to small details that makes Lost on Planet Earth #2 visually stunning.
Overall, Lost on Planet Earth #2 is a great and emotional issue. The most fascinating thing about the series is that I entered it expecting it to be action-filled with a relationship at its core – a true science fiction adventure. Instead, I got a slice of life moved by characters with authentic dialogue and experiences and I am thankful for that.
Lost on Planet Earth #2 is available now only on ComiXology.
Lost on Planet Earth #2
Lost on Planet Earth #2 is a great and emotional issue. The most fascinating thing about the series is that I entered it expecting it to be action-filled with a relationship at its core – a true science fiction adventure. Instead, I got a slice of life moved by characters with authentic dialogue and experiences and I am thankful for that.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.