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Pencil and Ink: Thomas Jane's Bad Planet
Vicodin-induced nightmares of ‘horrible alien death spiders' catalyzed Thomas Jane's raw and inspired comic series 'Bad Planet'


Throughout the Cosmos, there is a term, a combination of two simple words, spoken in over 40 million dialects which bring fear to countless living species. It is a phrase of warning, of dread, of imminent and ancient destruction. Entire civilizations have fallen under the label and disappeared from existence like a wisp of smoke on the solar wind. Now Earth itself has been designated by these two deadly words and we can only pray for a quick and painless end to everything we have ever known. Welcome to Earth . . . the next BAD PLANET.”

“Hopped up on vicodin” after recovering from a car accident, actor Thomas Jane (known from his starring roles in HBO’s Hung, The Punisher, and The Mist) was attacked by vidid fever dreams of ‘horrible alien deathspiders.’ These nightmares inspired the addictive comic series Bad Planet, an absorbing fusion of sumptuous art and ingenious sci-fi storytelling. 

Written by Thomas Jane and Steve Niles (and illustrated by Tim Bradstreet), Raw Studio’s Bad Planet began running in 2005, and is currently available in a full-colour edition trade.

Thomas Jane as popular Marvel anti-hero, the Punisher (2004)

The series begins with a charmingly peculiar quarrel between an older alien couple, as they voyage the boundless universe. In the midst of their conflict, some vital and seemingly hazardous cargo is released from the ship.

400 years later, malevolent alien deathspiders invade the earth.

“We’re gonna get fired for sure.” the inept couple had asserted.

After killing every living being that crosses their way, these extraterrestrial arachnids aim to maliciously drain the Earth of all of its resources, thus making Earth a ‘bad planet’. 

Survival is seemingly hopeless, until a lone alien detainee escapes a spaceborne cargo ship, and heads straight for Earth to terminate the violent infestation.

But the Phaedon warrior acts not out of benevolence. His intent lies in pure, unadulterated revenge, a motivation that never fails to captivate.

The dark hero gathers a team of disparate crusaders including an Australian scientist, a young boy from Africa, and a scantily-clad space expert, all with the unified goal to rid the planet of these hostile arachnids.

The Phedon Warrior

Bad Planet is a mesmerizing fusion of action, science fiction and horror, or as Bruce Jones calls it, “Spaced-out horror sci-fi.” With its timeless heroics and evocative scenarios (reminiscent of 1950s’ alien invasion tales), Bad Planet has a retro heart, but its unconventional characters and rich, spectacular explosions express contemporary edge. Illustrator Tim Bradstreet sweeps you into an enigmatic, beguiling world with flawless panels that flow gracefully, like rolls of film. 

“[Bad Planet is] hot retro. Lean and mean but totally now. Spaced out horror sci-fi! This is RAW.”
-Bruce Jones in his foreword to Bad Planet: Volume 1

Thomas Jane (a superhero himself) and Steve Niles have delivered a scintillating rarity.
An absorbing feast. A series that will effectively satisfy your craving for hot sci-fi.

Available Trades

Bad Planet: Volume 1 (Black and White)
Bad Planet: Volume 1: Full Color Edition (includes a section in 3D…nothing says petrifying like three-dimensional space spiders)

Single Bad Planet #7, the first single from Bad Planet Volume 2, is now available, and can be purchased at the Raw Studios Store. It, however, is not currently available at the Silver Snail because I bought the last copy… sorry. I just can’t get enough of these horrible alien death spiders.

Joanna Tsanis is a columnist for the Toronto Standard. Follow her on Twitter: @joannatsanis

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