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VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 January 2013
Fourth volume of paperbacks in the series which collects issues of the comic Planetary. Which is about a special team who deal with weird events. And their battle against the four. A group of superpowered individuals who are controlling the destiny of the human race to their own ends.

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.
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on 17 February 2012

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.
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on 10 December 2010
This arrived yesterday after pre-ordering over 3 months ago! This shows off Warren Ellis at his best with a strong series of short tales in the same fashion as the previous collections! I found the ending to be good but i can't help but think that Ellis was a little stumped. I was expecting a massive twist that didn't come, and dispite the fact that what did come was very strong i was a little disapointed because of it.

Drawing by Cassaday is, as always, Superb! He really has addded to the feel of the series and not just put images to the stories of ellis. I class him as one of the best graphic novel artists around not least because, rather than trying to creat photo realism, he creates soul and emotion within his subjects! something lacking from alot of artists.

I've given it 4 stars because i was expecting a classic ellis twist at the end and it didn't come! Despite this the story was excellent and it really does do the series justice! A strong finish to an excellent series!
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I love the tales of the Planetary crew! Not only in this Vol 4, but also in the previous Vols 1-3.
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...
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on 20 March 2011
I must be a little on the thick side to not have realised that the foes in Planetary were a riff on the Fantastic four. Surprising as it was obvious throughout the 27-issue run that writer Warren Ellis was offering his take on the alt-history of literature and comics history that Alan Moore had long ploughed through Moore's "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" and "Top 10" comics. No matter.

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.
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on 4 November 2017
Best series I’ve read. And that’s saying a lot. The plot, pacing, art, mixing our collective 20th century favorite myths and popular science in a new package, connecting all in new age view of earth and the universe is just mind blowing.
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on 14 April 2011
At just under 30 issues this series did well to create the impression of multiple one-off storylines whilst actually building towards a single integrated plot. It was very well conceived and executed with brilliant artwork and snappy dialogue.

You'll notice pretty quickly that most of the characters are reinventions of popular comics heroes. I spotted the Hulk, Iceman, Captain America, the Fantastic Four and a bunch of others who are arguably interpretations of lesser known characters (or else just coincidence). It seems a stupid excuse for a book, to just rewrite all these existing creations, and akin to parody (or plaigarism). This element, I didn't like.

Other than that, it's a cool read with some great twists, lots of surprises and great, memorable moments. Not the genius that some people make it out to be, but worth a read if you can find it cheapish.

7 / 10

David Brookes
Author of 'Half Discovered Wings'
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on 3 March 2011
This book is more of the same enthralling planetary world from the previous three books. It ties the overall story arc up nicely and is a very good ending to the series.

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.
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