Eisner and GLAAD Award nominees Magdalene Visaggio and artist Claudia Aguirre have collaborated on an all-new, five-part mini-series, Lost on Planet Earth. With Visaggio as writer, Aguirre on art, with letters from Zakk Saam, and editing from Joe Corallo, Lost on Planet Earth #1 makes a crashing sci-fi entrance onto the comic scene with a story that will hit many over-achievers. This is also the first release for Visaggio, Aguirre, Saam, and Corallo, under the name DEATH RATTLE, the moniker for their creative collaborations.
The series is the latest creator-owned release from the ComiXology Originals program and centers on a conflicted lesbian relationship in a socially reactionary future. Lost on Planet Earth #1 opens in 2381 and Basil Miranda thought she knew where her life was going: the Interplanetary Union Fleet. Basil is structured, keeping the schedule and training she believes will get her to the goal with a singular vision. This is her mission, but even though it means everything to her, she’s asked a question that she can’t answer while in her fleet examination: What makes her happy?
When she can’t answer, she flees in a panic. Lost on Planet Earth #1 ends with a directionless Basil meeting a Xanthippian, named Velda, and confronting the fear of living a life for yourself, versus a life to meet other’s expectations. She’s scared, but there is a future for her, even if it doesn’t look like what she imagined and that comes out clear from Vissagio’s writing of Basil’s narration.
Basil is determined, scared, lost, and curious all in one issue. Additionally, adding notes of Spanish to further shape her identity is well done. While having a Latina protagonist as the center of this narrative may seem inconsequential, it speaks volumes for me as a Chicana reader.
Lost on Planet Earth hits me like nothing else out right now. What do you do when the one thing you’ve aimed for, the one thing you know you’re good at is gone? But more than that, you’ve run away from it? It’s a premise that strikes me to my core and brings to the surface buried insecurities that I thought I wouldn’t see again. From a family that came out of poverty and taught to expect to work three times as hard as those around me, my future was decided the moment I started bringing home good grades. I would go to college, succeed and choose to be a lawyer or a doctor and reach the success that my parents saw for me.
I lived that life, pushed by my determination to live up to the high bar expected from me. Then I chose to enter a PhD program instead of Law School, then I pivoted again and left grad school entirely to start a tech job that has nothing to do with my degrees. To say I was scared, lost, and insecure is an understatement to the flurry of emotions rushing through me at any given moment. Like Basil, I was confronted with happiness, the question of what it means to pursue it, and forced to realize when I didn’t have it. This is a path many children from marginalized communities walk, especially first-gen Latinx kids looking to support their family when they’re done.
Lost on Planet Earth is the latest series from Visaggio, whose acclaimed comic Vagrant Queen was recently adapted for TV by SYFY, and their talent for crafting dialogue and characters are clear. Additionally, Aguirre’s art is both whimsical and near-futuristic. Basil’s character design, from her hair and skin tone to her defined abs peaking out when her shirt lifts up is beautiful while still feeling grounded. Additionally, Velda’s character design reads as a high fantasy character in a sci-fi world and has me excited to see the adventure the two embark on.
Overall, Lost on Planet Earth #1 is a great opening for a new mini-series. The story is emotive and grounded, which presents a different look at sci-fi worlds where intergalactic fleets exist.
Lost on Planet Earth #1 is available now on Comixology.
Lost on Planet Earth #1
Lost on Planet Earth #1 is a great opening for a new mini-series. The story is emotive and grounded, which presents a different look at sci-fi worlds where intergalactic fleets exist.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.