Follow TV Tropes


Webcomic / Escape from Terra

Go To

Escape from Terra is a 5-day-a-week sci-fi adventure webcomic by Sandy Sandfort, Scott Bieser, Leila Del Duca, and Lee Oaks. In the late 21st century Terra is controlled by the United World while its colonies in the solar system largely remain independent. Senior UW revenue agent Guy Gaillard is sent to the anarcho-capitalist asteroid Ceres in order to establish a taxing authority, he has a change of heart.

Think a more political version of Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress and you're not far off.

Went on hiatus July 7th 2012 as Big Head Press dropped it due to costs. They're currently looking for a new venue.

Escape From Terra contains examples of:

  • Alternative Calendar: One developed for Mars and used by most Belters for the sake of convenience. Includes "centimes", "decadays", and "dekasols".
  • Amicable Exes: Ernie and Lili.
  • Asteroid Miners: A lot of Belters, naturally.
  • Author Tract: Due to Big Head Press's championing of libertarianism, the comic reflected it with the self-reliant and anarchic community as the protagonist.
  • Auto Doc: One in every household on Mars and the Belt, illegal on Terra. They have been used to heal someone clinically dead more than once, in one case after being shot through the heart.
  • Brain/Computer Interface: Occipital (bone at the base of the skull) "occ" computers, with optional Tanglenet transceiver.
  • Clipboard of Authority: How Robyn and Sajjan escape the moon penitentiary.
  • Colonized Solar System: The solar system is being colonized. Mars and much of the Belt seem to be largely independent of the United World while the moon, Venus, and Mercury are (officially at least) under its heel. The first Mars colonists were members of a private space corporation that hijacked the International Space Station when it was scheduled to be decommissioned.
  • Duel to the Death: Legal on Ceres; Guy's cousin Pierre tries to start one after a "misunderstanding" at a gay bar, but backs off after Guy and his opponent's second add a couple of ridiculous conditions.
  • Free-Love Future: In the Belt and on Mars.
  • Global Currency: The UW uses "continentals" that are worthless in the Belt, where they typically have grams of gold as currency.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: The UW's last-ditch attempt to provoke an incident on Ceres involves a hapless soldier dressed as one.
  • Just Following Orders: The defense of the weapons officer, who fired a deathray at some poor guy's and his family's shack and killed them. This defense was taken as it was in Nürnberg-it got him a slightly milder sentence, a headshot instead of being shot in the chest like Butcher Harris, his superior, who ordered the strike.
  • Longevity Treatment: Rejuvenation treatments are one of many examples of bio- and nanotechnology that are officially banned on Earth. Reggie King and Babbette the elder undergo the treatment on Mars, and the first man on Mars is a great-great-great-great-grandfather who looks no older than 30.
  • The Metric System Is Here to Stay: And has been extended to measurement of time, with the Martian day divided into 100 "centimes" and Belters and Martians using "Decadays" in place of weeks or months. Kind of hard to measure days by planetary rotation on Mars, which has a 25-hour day and 687 days in its year - let alone an asteroid.
  • Microts: Martian time, as mentioned elsewhere.
  • Older Than They Look: Reggie King, Babbette the elder, and Leon Ball, after rejuv.
  • One World Order
  • Penal Colony: The "Lunar Kiddie Slammer" is a juvenile delinquent center and farming complex operated by the UW on the south pole of the moon.
  • Planet Terra: As the name indicates, Earth is called Terra in this comic.
  • Political Officer: The UW revived the concept.
  • Practical Currency: The primary medium of exchange on Ceres is grams of gold, but paper backed by water, Coca-Cola, and shares in asteroid mines is also mentioned. [1]
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sliding Scale of Libertarianism and Authoritarianism: Ceres and the UW represent opposite ends of the scale.
  • Space Amish: Subverted, there is a Mennonite colony on the moon but they're one of those sects that don't shun modern technology.
  • Space Is Cold: When Guy and Fiorella are trapped in a sealed off and unpowered corridor section they're in more danger of freezing than suffocating.
  • Stealth in Space: Some Ceres mining ships manage to sneak close enough to the invading UW fleet simply by hiding behind small asteroids they tossed ahead of them.
  • Strawman Political: Guy until he sees the light, and every authority figure in the UW generally.
  • Subspace Ansible: "Tanglenet", like the internet except with quantally entangled particles.
  • Super-Soldier: The "Black Mamba".
  • Taking You with Me: Reggie King wanted to surrender himself to Harris, but pocketed a industrial Pocket Nuke (they used it to crack asteroids, it's 0,1 kilotons strong, because it was not intended to be used as a weapon) to take him down with him. He's discovered, though.
  • This Is Not My Life to Take: At Admiral Harris and the gunnery officer's trial for killing the Rose family, Emily, the sole survivor of that massacre, shoots them herself.
  • The War of Earthly Aggression: The brief "war of the worlds".
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: The girls toss Jamal out for tampering with Ernie's air, but pull him back in after he loses consciousness, and soils himself.
  • Title Drop: this strip. and this.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: When the ship they've been traveling in has to adjust rotation, Guy's stomach doesn't take it very well.
    • Or Reggie King after he rode an rollercoaster on mars.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: "King" Reggie's reaction to Butcher Harris' use of a death ray against a civilian target and his demand to surrender himself and his government, even when there's no government to begin with. One of the reasons he's so shocked is not only that these poor people died, but they died because Butcher Harris is going after them because of HIS ruse of a monarchy.
  • Weirdness Censor: Purposefully enforced by the researchers at a Martian polar base; the first one to mention hallucinations lost their job, so all his successors kept their mouths shut. And then one went nuts and went outside for a bit of fresh "air"...
    Guzman: Okay, I get it. Back in the day, commercial and military pilots saw lots of strange things in the sky. Those that honestly reported what they saw, were taken off flight duty. Their bosses didn’t want "crazy" pilots in control over heavy armaments or the lives of hundreds of passengers. Of course, the law of unintended consequences made sure any pilot - crazy or not - who saw something out of the ordinary "kept mouth shut" too.