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Rogue Planet #1
Story by Cullen Bunn
Art by Andy MacDonald
Salvage vessel Cortes tracks the Lonely Orphan, a planet with no star system to call its own. Somewhere on this hostile rock is a payload fit for a king. To attain it, though, the crew of the Cortes must brave razor rock, poisonous vapors, treacherous footing, and… the most mind-numbing horrors imaginable. Something nightmarish is at work on Lonely Orphan. Something cruel. Something hungry.
Diamond Code: FEB201872
FOC due March 9th, 2020
In stores on April 1st, 2020
Why It’s Cool:
“Rogue Planet is one of those books that feels like you’ve seen it before: a sci fi crew out scavenging the galaxy to make ends meet, waking up out of cryo-sleep to find a forbidding alien planet with a salvage beacon screaming for attention. You know everything’s going to go wrong for this crew, but exactly how wrong is the question. But then Rogue Planet ratchets up the horror past expectations to something much bigger than just some dangerous aliens on a dangerous planet to something grotesque, something cosmic, and you know everything’s going to get much, much worse than you were already expecting it to.“
Q&A with Cullen Bunn & Andy MacDonald:
Tell us a little bit about Rogue Planet. How did everything come together?
Cullen Bunn – I was visiting Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon when I got the idea for the title of this project. It took a few more weeks to develop the concept, but with a title like ROGUE PLANET, I knew I was looking down the barrel of a sci-fi/horror extravaganza. I wanted to do something that paid tribute to the “horror in space” stories I’ve always loved. I wanted to start in relatively familiar territory, then do some completely unexpected and surprising things to elevate the story into something new and dark and powerful.
Andy MacDonald – Each of us received an unmarked envelope containing a key and a small set of directions to a lock box in the basement of an abandoned hotel somewhere in middle America. The contents of said lockbox set us on a raucous adventure across the country. An adventure that may have ended at Oni Press’ front door but started the telling of a tale of horror so terrifying it needed to be told in comic book form!
Wait….maybe this is a question probably best answered by Nick or Cullen?
What are you reading/watching/listening to as inspiration for this work?
CB – It’s been a few years since I wrote this series, but I remember watching a lot of ALIEN and THE THING and EVENT HORIZON while working on this. Of course, I watch those movies frequently anyhow, so that doesn’t really count. I read a lot of Lovecraft and Robert Bloch and Grant Morrison while writing this, too. If the recent COLOR OUT OF SPACE movie had been around when I was writing this, I would have watched it on repeat.
AM – The entire Alien film run must have been played and replayed a few hundred times while inking this book. While working on layouts and pencils, I listened to a lot of sci-fi soundtracks. In fairness, this is pretty standard for most books I work on as they seem to have the right tone I like to get into while working, but they really added to the experience of drawing Rogue Planet.
When you started this project who did you have in mind as an audience for this, and did it change by the time you finished?
CB – With ROGUE PLANET, I wanted to share my love of sci-fi/horror with others who loved the genre mash-up. Early on in the writing process I realized this was also a tale of cosmic horror, so the intended audience expanded. Then I started thinking about world-building (because I can’t help it) and exploring the idea of primordial fear itself. So, I think readers who like discovering new worlds and readers who want to dig deep in the concept of fear—and the lengths we humans will go to to alleviate said fear—will really enjoy this title, too.
AM – This is definitely a book for anyone who has done the deep dive into the wild 70s/80s science fiction movie bins, looking to the craziest thing that they would never have had a chance to see on a big screen. Anyone who came across that sci-fi movie playing on whatever obscure channel among the forest of available viewing options, stopped to see what happened next and didn’t change the channel for the rest of the show. That feeling has never changed for me and I sincerely hope that that audience gets an opportunity to read this book and will enjoy it the same way I enjoy finding that random, wild science fiction movie while spinning through the channels.
Can you give us an idea of what readers can look forward to in this series, maybe a little down the line?
CB – Lonely Orphan, the planet at the center of this story, has a big, big secret, and readers will discover the secret along with the hapless crew of the Cortez. There is some real nastiness, some real physical and psychological “yeeeccch” moments. I think this story will give readers a lot to think about. We put our cast in a truly hopeless situation, and the fun of it will be seeing how they continue to move forward…and how much worse we make it for them with every turn of the page.
AM – Suspense! Thrills! Chills! Body horror! Alien possession! Suspended animation! A planet with a secret! A crew with everything to lose!
What’s great in comics right now that you’re currently reading?
CB– I’m really digging SEA OF STARS and FAMILY TREE and THE PLOT right now!.
AM – I wish I had time to read as many comics as I would like to!