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The Martian Had It Easy Compared to the Shipwrecked Scientists of Venus

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Sorry, Mark Watney. You may be the star of Andy Weir’s The Martian, but Mars is a tropical vacation compared to Venus, where Captain Pauline Manashe and her crew find themselves in Rick Loverd and Huang Danlan’s new comic Venus, due out this December from Boom Studios.

Here’s the official synopsis:

In 2150, Earth’s resources are depleted, and countries race to outer space to mine what they need from other planets. China has laid claim to Mars, so the U.S. and its allies have to make do with getting what it needs from the inhospitable world of Venus. But for a group of Americans making its way there, survival has become all too real. After their ship crash-lands on the planet, the scrappy crew is forced to do whatever it takes to navigate the harsh landscape in their journey to find the science base they were flying toward. In the vein of great adventure survival stories like Lost and The Martian, there’s only one reality on Venus—adapt or die.


As io9 readers, we know what you’re wondering, and yes, in the future of the comic, Venus has been somewhat terraformed in order for human beings to survive on the planet’s surface—just enough to make a colony plausible. Also, while this is uncannily like the premise of The Martian, it’s not just the same story on a different planet.

“This comic is an idea that Filip Sablik and I developed together over years of hiking Runyon Canyon weekly and getting nerdy about the future,” says Loverd. “The story of Venus started for us when we said, ‘What if in the future humanity made fleets of drones that were designed to scrub the carbon from the atmosphere in order to combat climate change?’ If we had the ability to geoengineer the climate on Earth, we asked ourselves, where else might humanity apply that power? Venus was a natural choice.”


So when Captain Manashe and her crew crash-land on the planet, they have much bigger problems than just finding food. “The surface of this planet is a quagmire of razor sharp crevasses leading to certain death by scalding lava flows,” says Loverd. “This is not a place where anything can survive.”

It also doesn’t help that the crew brings their own issues with them. As the writer asks: “What kind of person signs up for a dangerous two-year mission to a place where they will be millions of miles away from friends and family without any kind of guarantee that they will ever come home?”

The answer will be revealed when Venus #1 debuts in December.

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