Review: Escape from Terra


Those of my readers who are majoring in English (or similar programs) may have noticed an unintended side-effect from all that literary analysis: you start to watch movies for their plot. This becomes exasperating when you complain about a film, only to be shouted down that it was “pretty” or “awesome” or “technologically astounding,” as though the dialogue and actions were just filler text* between explosions. Implausible plots and lackluster half-dimensional characters are happily disregarded as long as the CG critters have enough supplemental material explaining how they’re biologically possible.

This is where I would normally go on to provide a link to the comic Escape from Terra, a science-fiction comic and political screed resulting from the collaborative efforts of Sandy Sandfort, Scott Bleser, and LEE OAKS** . . . and then just as I was getting ready to review it, the plot took a turn for the lesbian erotica. I don’t consider myself any sort of moral guardian or gatekeeper or anything like that***, but I can imagine the outrage from people I know if I were to link to stuff like that.

So suffice it that Escape from Terra takes place in the late 21st century, when space has been partially colonized and humanity is actively mining the asteroid belt for useful minerals and organics. Earth has unified into a single socialist government that preaches an exaggerated form of political correctness, which the people of the other planets want nothing to do with. The protagonist, Guy Caillard (pronounced “ghee,” as in French), is a United World agent sent to the asteroid Ceres in order to bring the residents under the same tax regulations as Earth. Once he gets a taste of libertarianism****, however, he promptly switches sides and becomes an accountant for the Cerereans.

The science-fiction technology is indeed fascinating, and the art is done decently well. That is to say, the spaceships and other artifacts look feasible, and characters are realistically proportioned, other than their mouths often getting too large*****. Unfortunately, the plot feels a bit like it was jammed in around technical explanations and explanations of why non-aggressive anarchy is the best political system. And this brings an interesting thought to mind:

Those of you who say that good visuals and intriguing creature/technology concepts excuse terrible characterization and a plot that mostly stands in for the writer’s political message******, look up Escape from Terra and see if you can make it all the way through. I won’t blame you if you can’t.

Comic Rating: Two hockey pucks.

* Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.
** Mr. Oaks provides his name in all caps on the EFT site. I presume he also affects a deeper, more dramatic voice whilst saying it.
*** This is an outright lie.
**** The fact that the buxom Fiorella Stellina also converts to libertarianism should not be discounted.
***** Then again, the comic was designed as a political soapbox. Perhaps big mouths are simply part and parcel.
****** Yeah, Avatar failed to impress me, if I haven’t made it a bit too obvious.

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