Tipton, Denton (ed.) Crystal Planet (Book Review)

Spread the metal:

Reviewed: September, 2021

Released: 2021, Incendium/Opus

Rating: 4/5

Reviewer: JP

Incendium is a company that specializes in entertainment; books, games, comics, toys and all sorts of cool stuff.  Not so long ago they opened a sub-division called Opus which sub-specializes in music related cross-over material. Opus has been getting a bit of a buzz in the Metal community because they are doing Hard rock and Heavy Metal themed cross-over products.    This month I’ve decided to review two titles, one tied in with Cradle Of Filth and one tied-in with Joe Satriani.  Feel free to enjoy both of these reviews and watch for their newly announced Exodus comic in the fall of 2021.

CRYSTAL PLANET is intended to be a three-part series and I am reviewing Issue #1, a hard copy I bought, not a digital version.  The comic itself is very high quality. It has high-quality paper stock, foil embossing and in a clever twist, it is numbered and limited to 1998 copies the year the Joe Satriani album of the same name came out.  It is 48 pages long, 30 pages of story of 18 pages of bonus features.  There are a lot of bonus features, and I found it more fun and convenient to read the bonus stuff first.  Satriani provided a foreword and a ‘suggested listening’ list of some of his songs linked to a Spotify playlist.  There are sketches, character profiles, back-story and they creative team talks about the creative process and evolution of the story.

Richard Friend a long time DC artist with countless titles to his name (including these two new guys called Batman and Superman) handles the pencils and ink.  The story was created as Satch and relative newcomer Ned Evett as collaborated on the project with Tony Lee (Batman) on the script.   The story is a combination of modern day and science-fiction with plenty of Hard Rock references. I really hesitate to tell too much or judge but I enjoyed the high flying and creative story.  It was engaging and fun to read.

I always enjoy these type of cross-over comics, they show another creative side to the artist, behind just the songs that we hear on the album. I enjoyed CRYSTAL PLANET because the plot and characters were a bit more fleshed out than many other Metal comic crossover stories (Slayer, GWAR etc) where over-the-top violence takes front stage over the storyline. It is worth checking out!