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Planetary TP Book 04 Spacetime Archaeology (Planetary (Windstorm)) Paperback – 14 Dec 2010
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Top customer reviews
It really is the " secret history of the 20th century ", as uncovered, fought for, and preserved by Elijah Snow and his team.
The backdrop to Elijah Snow's VERY long life, and that of his friends and enemies, is resonant with Warren Ellis's talent for weaving so many great stories into one interlocking narrative.
While drawing on so many classic and modern genres to create something quite unique.
I recently re-read it, to remind myself how much the world can still surprise you...
I've never read a series from start to finish and left wondering what the hell it was all supposed to be about. In this final book (four volumes, who knew?) the evil Fantastic Four are diminished in number and then taken out by Planetary, while we discover their motives - something I'm still not clear about. They sold out the planet to a group of paranoid eternal post-humans or something? But if this Earth is one of so many and doesn't mean anything, then why does it mean something to these post-humans?
Their friend Ambrose who was killed in a previous volume is brought back in a mind-bending and utterly confusing epilogue - he was trapped in a time bubble of his own creation that made him invisible to time so they built a time machine to bring him back...?
Warren Ellis also riffs on the Lone Ranger and Green Hornet characters (called something else of course) and we learn more about the evil Fantastic Four (also called something else) as well as a giant human god or something. Oh yeah and space angels and a chapter that will make you feel like you're on psychedelics.
It might be because I'm not a huge sci-fi fan, but Ellis takes the reader on such a bizarre trip through time and space with these characters that even at the end I'm still scratching my head as to what it was all about. I thought the way Planetary finally defeated evil Mr Fantastic and Sue Storm was a bit uninspired (and again totally perplexing) but despite looking back on the stories and realising that while I was reading them I felt that I understood them but really didn't, I still really enjoyed the journey.
Ellis and artist John Cassaday produce such a massive canvas and convey a story of such an epic scope that it's inspiring and awesome to behold. The artwork is truly impressive and is easily Cassaday's best work (he won an Eisner for his art in this book) and there's even some back story to Drummer, a character I've felt up until now to be poorly underwritten.
"Planetary" is a comic book series that might be understood by acid casualties and mental patients exclusively but I feel glad to have been an observer to the strange thoughts of Warren Ellis. It's definitely his most weird work but definitely worth a look for comics fans everywhere.
This collects issues nineteen to twenty seven of the series. And brings the whole ongoing story to a close [volume five collects special stories featuring the three main characters, and stands independent of the main narrative].
This is not a volume you will have any chance of understanding if you haven't read the first three, so new readers should start with Planetary TP Vol 01 All Over The World And Other Stories (Planetary (Windstorm)).
Previous volumes contained individual parts which were largely self contained stories - often in the style of a particular comic or other piece of popular fiction of days gone past. This ones forms a more continuous narrative. The first part ending on a cliffhanger that leads into part two. Whilst they do keep the style of before, the homages to other fictions and the like, plus the superb artwork and colouring, it's all about how Snow takes the fight against the four directly to them. And how he comes to understand his place in the world.
Some very fascinating physics comes into play.
Some characters do get their origins filled in.
And as mentioned, the whole ongoing storyline is brought to a conclusion.
The sheer amount of detail in the art and the writing means this is something you can read many times and find new things or things you'd forgotten on each occasion.
The volume ends with short biographies of the writer and artist and colourist, plus a cover reprint, and a listing of other works by the writer.
An excellent end to a very good series.
What we have in book 4 is a satisfying closure to the story that has been foreshadowed (with the benefit of hindsight) in earlier editions. Readers will enjoy Ellis's sharp writing and dialogue, the globe-trotting adventure, the reverent treatment of superhero and literature characters and tropes, ultimately feasting their eyes on the gorgeous art from Cassaday and DePuy.
There is no question that Ellis is one of the top-tier writers in the industry.
You should certainly read the previous three planetary volumes before this one; the crossing worlds book is good, but not part of the arc and so not necessary.