Posted by:
Byron Brewer

Review: Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril #1


I don't know why, but of late I have developed a taste for both the noir and the super-scientific which are both wonderfully on display in some pulp titles making their way back on the stands.
It was with that eagerness for Silver Age sci-fi nonsense and fun that I approached Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril #1. (How could I resist that title?) I was anxious to get to know a new hero (never saw Tom before) and a bunch of new aliens. This is a #1, right?
Wrong! It's more like #101, as in these are characters readers have apparently known and loved for awhile with 1980s-Marvel woes and worries and, while there is a lot of talking going on -- a LOT of talking! -- very little of it is needed exposition. VERY needed.
I must assign all blame to scripter Peter Hogan because Tom Strong co-creator Chris Sprouse and presumably PLOTTER Peter Hogan present two or three beautifully drawn and effectively colored flashback sequences but little if no exposition is given.
I hate going from my three dollar book to my phone to do research on a "fun" pulp character on Wiki!
On the other hand, the retro art with clean lines and sharp colors by Sprouse, Karl Story and Jordie Bellaire is right on the money. The simple and pleasurable panel layouts keep the story I CAN understand flowing smoothly.
If you don't read it, Tom Strong #1 is one beautiful book.
There is a twist or two toward the end, so maybe #2 will be more new reader-friendly.
I wonder if "old" fans of Tom Strong enjoyed this?