I’ve been wanting to read “Planet Of the Nerds” since its release last year (2019), but with so much going on in my personal life, I didn’t give myself time to read as many comics as I have in the past. With current situations going on in the world, I have nothing but time to read and review what I love the most…Anything involving Geek Culture! On Wednesday (new comic book day), I went on comiXology and browsed my “wish list” of books, and there I saw the five issues of “Planet Of the Nerds” published by AHOY Comics, so I decided to take this time to make my purchases and read them. What drew me to this series was the title, the plot synopsis, and the blonde-haired character on the cover. He looks like a bully who would have picked on me throughout all grade levels of school, he looks like a douche, and I wanted to see the nerd(s) come out as the victors at the end of this mini-series. However…this story is way different than I was expecting. Did “Planet Of the Nerds” meet my expectations? Read on to find out…
Planet Of the Nerds consists of the main story, then the backup story gives readers an insight to one of the main characters from this series. The nice thing is that the secondary stories tie in to the main story perfectly, some of them give insights on some scenes that occur shortly after the events of the main story. This alone will bring these characters to life even more, and that’s the foundation that readers want, to enjoy any type of story. The main stories are written by Paul Constant, artwork by Alan Robinson, colored by Felipe Sobreiro and Lee Loughridge (Issue 5), and lettered by Rob Steen. The backup stories are written by Paul Constant, illustrated by Randy Elliott, colored by Felipe Sobreiro (Issues 1-4) and Lee Loughridge (Issue 5), and lettered by Rob Steen. Covers for issues one and two are illustrated by David Nakayama. Series created by Paul Constant and Alan Robinson.
One small detail that’s noticeable are the titles to each issue. All five issues are named after one of the “Planet Of the Apes” movies (with the exception of issue one). The titles, from issue #1 – #5 are titled as follows: “Journey To the Planet of the Nerds,” “War For the Planet of the Nerds,” “Beneath the Planet of the Nerds,” “Conquest of the Planet of the Nerds,” and “Battle For the Planet of the Nerds.” If you’re a fan of this franchise, then you’re going to love the names of these titles.
So what is this story about anyway? This is the plot synopsis for this series (and issue one):
“Three high school jocks in the 1980’s are accidentally frozen by an experimental cryogenics device, only to be revived in the computer-driven, superhero movie-loving world of 2019, an era ruled by nerds!”
Times have changed in the past three decades, from world events to technology, and even the popular films of this decade. Growing up in the 80’s, I never would have thought that my favorite comic book characters would be in visually stunning films that are actually GREAT! This and many unknown characters from the 80’s are now household names! At comic book conventions, there are more attendees who are there just to see what geek culture is like, jocks included. My first experiences at comic book conventions were different, I was in rooms filled with comic book loving geeks like me, and that was awesome!
The best way to fully understand these characters is to give a brief introduction to them. Here are the main characters from this series:
Chad Gannon: Chad is the main bully of this series. He picks on fellow student, Alvin Pingree, but Chad‘s two best friends, Drew and Steve, can’t seem to figure out why he picks on Alvin so much. Why won’t he leave Alvin alone? There’s more to Chad‘s story than readers will think…
Drew Johnson: Drew is the smart one of the jocks. Drew‘s backstory will reveal the true nature of his intellect and his scholarship at any university. There’s also a side of Drew that many people won’t think he has, and it’s interesting to see this side of him throughout the main story.
Steve Rice: Steve is the nice guy of the three jocks. In essence, he doesn’t even come off as a bully, but he still hangs out with Chad and Drew. Must be because he’s a fellow jock as well, but there’s a secret that Steve is hiding. How will Chad react to this secret?
Jenny Dover (1980’s): Jenny is Steve‘s girlfriend in the 1980’s. Jenny makes a brief appearance in the first part of this story, but the character backup story of hers (in Issue #4), gives readers a nice background story of her years after the 80’s. Tie this story with her reappearance in 2019 and everything will make perfect sense! Speaking of which…
Jenny Dover (2019): Jenny makes a longer appearance later on in the story, but with three decades that have passed, how will the three jocks react to her older appearance. On that note, how will the 2019 Jenny react to the teen version of her boyfriend from the 80’s in the present day?
Alvin Pingree (1980’s): Alvin is the “nerd” of this series, so naturally he’s the one who gets picked on by Chad and his two jock friends. You can’t help but feel sorry for this kid, and his backup story will reveal what happened on that morning that this series starts off in. Poor, poor Alvin…
Alvin Pingree (2019): Alvin in the future. How much has he changed? Will readers still feel sorry for poor, poor Alvin? What about the “nerds” of the present day? Read this series to find out what’s become of Alvin and how the jocks will react to the present-day love for geek culture! Also, Alvin has another backup story in the fifth and final issue, but this time it takes place in the present time.
“Planet Of the Nerds“ takes place in a high school in the year of 1988. Three jocks with their school jackets are standing over a stereotypical nerd of the 80’s, wearing glasses, has braces, and had his stack of comic books scattered all over the floor. First thought is, “Poor kid, he’s being bullied by the jocks!” Then readers will notice something…unexpected with the other two jocks. This is where readers will meet the jocks and the “nerd,” and their personalities. When Jenny makes her first appearance, older people like myself, will sense a blast from the past; 80’s nostalgia with the cinema marquees and the movies playing, the hairstyles, and the clothing. The first scenes with Jenny and Steve took me back in time, kudos to the creative team for accomplishing this so well within these pages of the story. Then, Alvin is seen going somewhere with schematics of sorts, but where is he going, and what is he up to?
This is where the story truly takes place, readers will get to see how the three jocks were cryogenically frozen. The best part is, when the story shifts over to the present day (2019), the look of the comic book pages change as well. The scenes from the 80’s look like an older comic book, with faded, yellowed pages, and the modern day pages look like a modern comic book. Look above at the character profiles of Jenny and Alvin from the 80’s and 2019, the difference is noticeable…and very creative! Paul Constant does a great job with the dialog here, because if someone woke up after a three-decade “sleep,” even the small things to us will seem new and strange from someone waking up in the modern day from the 80’s. But the biggest change, according to Chad, is seeing a bunch of “nerds” gathered together at a comic book convention.
Clearly, Chad has no idea that he is outnumbered, so being a bully at a comic book convention may not be a good idea. Times have truly changed in the last three decades, and there are so many debates on geek culture, who’s truly a geek and who’s a wannabe? Chad, however, doesn’t care about any of this, as is his true nature for the love of sports and manly action and sports movies. The real question is, who’s the TRUE bully in this series, and who are the ones readers will be cheering for as this series goes on?
Overall, “Planet Of the Nerds” was NOT the story I was expecting to read. I thought the nerds were going to be bullied like Daniel LaRusso was in the 80’s movie, “The Karate Kid,” although this is now debatable, where people are stating that Johnny Lawrence is the one who was truly being bullied by Daniel. “Planet Of the Nerds” reminds me of the current “Karate Kid” Original YouTube Series titled, “Cobra Kai.” No, there’s no karate in “Planet Of the Nerds,” but there’s an 80’s bully who picks on an 80’s nerd. Fast forward to the present day, and all back stories are revealed. Why is the bully mean to other kids, ergo “nerds?” How will life turn out for the one being bullied? All these revelations make this story enjoyable and the ending, that’s for the reader to find out. Reading all these issues in one sitting made me realize how entertaining this story is, and the visuals bring back a sense of nostalgia! Then you realize that it’s the modern day, all in a flash! When reading this series, pay attention to all the details, it’s presented so well throughout this series. Is this series worth the read? Absolutely, I couldn’t recommend this series more! My rating for “Planet Of the Nerds” is 4.8 out of 5 Geek Heads! Give this series a shot, it’s entertaining, fun, and as I’ve stated before, “that ending though!”
Here is the link to purchase the digital comics (individual or collected copies) on comiXology:
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