Crashed on the surface of a hostile frozen planet, Captain June and her crew can be sure of nothing, even survival. As the only uninjured crew members make their way into the wilderness, they find themselves beset by both alien beasts and human beings, both of whom are hiding a dangerous secret.
Lost Planet: First Colony is most likely to appeal to fans of Capcom’s 2006 third-person shooter game “Lost Planet”, upon which the book is based. The idea behind the game was survival on a brutally hostile planet populated by energy-creating monsters. Non-fans may find themselves confused, since the universe in which the comic is set is not thoroughly established at the outset of the book. Fans will get the drift pretty much immediately, and seeing the game fleshed out as a pulse-pounding survival story is fun.
The plot moves right along, beginning with a hijacking and continuing through the crash, various animal attacks, and run-ins with human beings of questionable motives. The rough-and-ready crew’s survival will please many fans of the action genre.
The book does seem to struggle somewhat to distinguish a few of the characters from one another visually. Though their personality traits and attributes are well established in this short volume, Captain June and her crew member, Kate, look enough alike that I consistently mistook them for one another. (For much of the book, June has some bandages on her face, which helps.) This added an entertaining layer of absurdity to the story–I had to read First Colony twice to figure out who was who.
Otherwise, the art in this book is lovely. The bare, icy landscapes are particularly emotive of a magnificent but long-frozen environment. Massimo Dall’Oglio does a good job using human forms to indicate the relative size, not only of the planet’s many monsters, but of its huge geological features. The giant fauna that play such a big part in the Lost Planet video game series from Capcom are wonderfully depicted, not only as major dangers to the humans, but as organic pieces of their environment.
First Colony will be most interesting to collectors and Capcom fans. As a general space adventure, however, it functions on its own fairly well, and may even make a few recruits to the game upon which it’s based.