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The Planetary Omnibus Hardcover – 4 Feb 2014
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About the Author
Warren Ellis is a prolific writer whose works include the novel Crooked Little Vein (William Morrow) and, for Marvel Comics, Iron Man, Nextwave, Newuniversal and many others. His work for DC Comics includes PLANETARY, RED, STORMWATCH, OCEAN, GLOBAL FREQUENCY, HELLBLAZER, and a five-year run on TRANSMETROPOLITAN.
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However, I am not very pleased with the Omnibus build itself. The pages are glued to the spine and so every time I would consider opening the book or turning the pages I am really paranoid that I am going to damage the spine. That is my only qualm about the book quality. I don't understand why DC can't just have their Omnibus' sewn instead of glued.
Other than that, this is still a very good buy, as long as you take care of it.
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.
I don't have the absolute editions, so I can't compare this edition with those. The sleeve is nice, but I especially like the cover underneath, presenting itself as a Planetary Guide (like the cover of issue 24). Each issue of the main series is led into by a quote from that issue and the cover. The preview short story is presented between issues 12 and 13. I had hoped the one-shots would be placed somewhere within the main series, but instead they come at the end of the book. Also included are covers from collected editions, the script for issue 1, and a few pages of character design sketches (I would love for John Cassaday to produce a book of these!).
I can't recommend this comics series highly enough - it's usually the first thing I lend to friends who haven't read comics seriously before.
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