The Wrong Earth: Trapped on Teen Planet #1 is part of a series of one-shots published by Comics Ahoy. Written by Gail Simone, art by Walter Geovani and Bill Morrison, inks by Rob Lean, colors by Andy Troy, and letters by Paul Sheen. In The Wrong Earth, two different planets are pressing against each other. Two versions of the Dragonfly, a hero that exists in both worlds, have swapped places. On Earth Omega is a more violent, brutal Dragonfly, but he has assumed his more innocent counterpart on a lighthearted world. In this one-shot, it is this Dragonyl that finds he and his sidekicks transported to another planet, the fun-loving and overly positive Teen Planet.
Even if this is your first exposure to the concept of The Wrong Earth, Simone brilliantly explains the world, or worlds, that these characters reside in by hilarious and informative means. The recap page summarises the story and a narrator clarifies too. But the fast pace of the comic quickly throws the team into another world. The sense of adventure is high as this comic toys with a shift in genre. Teen Planet is a hysterical parody on comics such as Archie and Simone delightfully plays with the tropes of that type of world. Where the characters are friendly and the problems are trivial. This creates an excellent cognitive dissonance in regards to tone. Because the darkness that comes with the main character threatens to taint this rosy new world.
The twist in the tale is fantastic as it again subverts the foreign world the heroes find themselves in whilst the action itself teeters on the edge of matching. When Dragonfly’s problems affect Teen Planet the fight scene is a blend of ultraviolence and cartoonish antics.
The characters inside The Wrong Earth are a magnificent blend of originality and parody. The main character is fascinating due to the fact he is a fraud, and yet there is very rarely any narration or lines gloating about it. He is the hero of the story even if his true motivations remain unknown. The residents of Teen Planet are superb little character studies on the tropes of the comic it is riffing from. The chauvinistic jock, America’s sweetheart, the nerd, etc. But then Simone spends the rest of the one-shot messing with these archetypes. Many of the surprises stem from the shifting of the roles these characters play.
There is a small breakaway section in this comic that is a brilliantly chaotic use of both captions and dialogue. Breaking the Fourth Wall is relatively common in comics now, but it has not been done this well in ages. It’s a bizarre, beautiful cutaway that shows just how wild this book can get.
The art is incredible, influencing the story in just as many ways as the writing. The style changes dramatically depending on the world, affecting the tone and the general feel of the place. On the two main planets, Alpha and Omega, Geovani has what may be described as a more typical modern style. The proportions depict muscular characters in worlds where detail is high. This is brilliant and recognizable as it sets a baseline. And then when on Teen Planet the switch is ginormous as it transitions. A hybrid of books such as The Tick and Archie, the alterations to the same characters are hilarious. The smiles have become almost permanent. There is almost a complete redesign of the costumes so they fit this new universe. Figures are more rounded and squat. The fighting becomes slapstick instead of overt violence. Everything changes because the comic has completely transformed.
The colors are fantastic, again shifting with the circumstances. In the early part of The Wrong Earth: Trapped on Teen Planet, there is more blending of various shades as there is an increase in shadows and different lighting points. But later the colors are solid and singular. Troy makes the whole comic vibrant and stunning.
The letters are dynamic and help give many characters their voice.
The Wrong Earth: Trapped on Teen Planet #1 is a playful delight. This is a fun story by creators that truly understands the medium in order to break it. It’s a truly meta adventure that is just one of the countless possibilities. It has a really exciting pace and structure, and even a newcomer to the universes can be carried along without having to research.
The Wrong Earth: Trapped on Teen Planet #1 is available where comics are sold.
The Wrong Earth: Trapped on Teen Planet #1
The Wrong Earth: Trapped on Teen Planet #1 is a playful delight. This is a fun story by creators that truly understands the medium in order to break it. It’s a truly meta adventure that is just one of countless possibilities. It has a really exciting pace and structure, and even a newcomer to the universes can be carried along without having to research.
Screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”