Upstart publisher Ahoy Comics launched in 2018 with a comics magazine format that harkened back to the days of the early 1980s when the medium still had a presence on national newsstands and some publishers dabbled in magazine-sized publications with edgier content, painted covers and/or pages of prose content.
This April, Ahoy will stir up even more memories of the Reagan Era when it publishes Planet of the Nerds, a new series that evokes vintage Hollywood hits such as Revenge of the Nerds, Weird Science, Real Genius, Back to the Future and The Breakfast Club. The story: Three high school jocks in the 1980s are accidentally frozen by an experimental cryogenics device, only to be revived in the tech-driven, superhero-loving, empathy-counseling world of 2019 — in other words, an era shaped by the nerds they once tormented.
Today Deadline has an exclusive preview excerpt from the inaugural issue of Planet of the Nerds, which was written by Paul Constant. Constant described the series as a revival of the class warfare between jocks and nerds that raged across fictional school campuses of the 1980s.
“In the year 1988, jocks patrolled school hallways across America maintaining a strict social order that has existed since time immemorial,” Constant told Deadline. “Nerds were objects of derision — to be shamed, bullied, and ridiculed. But in one Pasadena high school, three jocks were cryogenically frozen in a freak accident, only to be revived in the far-flung future of 2019, when comic book movies rule the multiplex, impossibly wealthy geeks own and operate powerful multinational corporations, and every human being has a powerful supercomputer in their pocket. Can the jocks fight back against the Poindexters who have taken over the world? Or are they cursed to forever live on the Planet of the Nerds?”
The premise has a Rip Van Winkle riff that reminds us of a pair of Brendan Fraser films from the 1990s — Blast From the Past and Encino Man — and the art team of Alan Robinson and Randy Elliott (with covers by David Nakayama) have plenty of fun with scenes keyed to 1980s popcorn classics.