Ratchet & Clank: Issue 1: Ears of War is the first issue of the Ratchet & Clank comic series. It was released on September 9, 2010 and was later released on the PlayStation Digital Comics store. It was also included in the comic series compilation book, Ratchet & Clank. The story was written by TJ Fixman and illustration completed by Adam Archer. Ears of War begins the story of the comic series set after Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time and the plot is continued in the second issue, Ratchet & Clank: Issue 2: Friends with Benefits. In the comic, Ratchet and Clank are captured by Artemis Zogg and the duo, along with the planet Veldin, are taken to Artemis Zogg's own galaxy.
The best-selling Sony franchise finally becomes an action-packed comic! With Dr. Nefarious defeated and the universe safe, galactic heroes Ratchet and Clank return to the Solana galaxy for some well-earned rest and relaxation. But when entire planets begin disappearing from the universe without a trace, Galactic President Qwark calls them back into action to solve the mystery. As the rest of the universe erupts in panic, the duo must embark on an epic adventure that will pit them against their most capable adversary to date: a Markazian planet thief named Artemis Zogg!
CreatureBox produced the cover art and Adam Archer completed the interior art. The lettering was by Saida Abbott who also completed the lettering for the other issues in the series and Jonny Rench was the colorist for the issue. The planet-stealing concept for the series was created in a brainstorming session for Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time between writer TJ Fixman and Brian Allgeier. Pages and panels from Ratchet & Clank: Issue 1: Ears of War were used in previews for the comic series.
IGN gave the comic a 7.0 out of 10.0. Reviewer Richard George criticized the slow start to the plot and Adam Archer's art, claiming that the tone of the series needed a more exaggerated style. He praised the humor of the comic and also said that if more video game comics were like this they would be much more enjoyable.
Ratchet and Clank return to the Solana Galaxy on Veldin for some rest and relaxation after saving the universe. In Ratchet's garage on Veldin, the duo attempt to restore a Skyburst 8000. Ratchet makes a mistake causing the Skyburst to shoot up into the air when he attempts to use the forward thrusters. Thanks to Clank's quick activation of a magnetic stabilizer, Ratchet is saved from being flung into the atmosphere at the last minute.
Qwark, now Galactic President of Polaris, arrives in his ship and the three of them go inside the garage to talk. Ratchet then asks him if they had found Nefarious and Lawrence yet as the pair had been missing since Nefarious's station was destroyed. While Qwark said Lawrence did teleport the doctor off the ship before it crashed, he also adds that they have been unable to find them. Qwark claims his administrators can handle it and that they have a more serious issue; they are losing planets.
Ratchet asks what planets are missing. Qwark shows them that Terachnos, Sargasso, Cobalia, and Aranos are all confirmed to be missing. However, Ratchet wondered why Aranos from the Bogon Galaxy would be affected which leads Clank to point out that it is not isolated to just Polaris. Clank then spots something on the display showing the missing planets that refers to something called the "Helios Project" and asks Qwark what it is. Qwark denies any knowledge of it, claiming it's top-secret. Ratchet then turns his attention to Talwyn, wondering if her space station has been affected as well. Qwark confirms that she is safe and suggests that Ratchet should see her and help him find the missing planets. Ratchet refuses and claims that he had lots of work to do.
After Qwark leaves, Ratchet sits down looking at Alister Azimuth's stopwatch and confides in Clank that he has become tired of constantly saving the universe from evil and wanted to go back to fixing ships like before. Despite Clank's objections, Ratchet argues that their adventures had taken lives as well as saved them, hinting at Azimuth's death.
Above the planet, Artemis Zogg arrives in orbit above Veldin, targeting it as his next planet to steal. His assistant Vorn sends a transmission to Veldin explaining to the citizens about the moving the planet. The ship fires an energy beam which transport the planet somewhere in an different galaxy. Ratchet, who is sleeping outside, is woken as warbots are dropped on the surface of Veldin, forcing the duo to fight them off.
After being punched through the wall of his garage, Ratchet manages to destroy a warbot using a magnetic stabilizer. As more appear, Ratchet grabs his Hoverboots, Wrench and Blaster as Clank tries to escape to the Planetary Defense Center. However, the duo are eventually captured. In a transmission to his ship Artemis Zogg recognizes them and informs his Warbots to bring them to him. They, along with the planet, are taken to an unknown location. On route, Ratchet spots Aranos which they think they're not in the Solana galaxy anymore. Ratchet and Clank then meet Artemis Zogg who reveals that they are in his galaxy.
Notes and references
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- "Ratchet & Clank's Vacation Adventure" page 1 - IGN
- Ratchet & Clank: Issue 2: Friends with Benefits
- Ratchet & Clank: Issue 1: Ears of War
- "Ratchet & Clank #1 preview" - IGN
- Ratchet and Clank panels by a-archer on deviantART
- "Ratchet & Clank #1 Review" by Richard George - IGN