Three brilliant novellas (as Warren Ellis himself would call them himself) featuring a team of super-powered self-called archeolgists of the hidden secret history of the 20th century. Creaed almost at the same time as The Authority, Planetary is the second of the books that closed a decade and a century of superhero comics. While The Authority propelled them into the future, launching them into the realm of widescreen movie-like action, Planetary is a summa of what has been and could have been, the genre's swan song and a love sing to it and its many facets and authors. The three tales told here are not really mcuh more than a divrtissement, but if it truly is so, then we need more authors having this fun. The opener is actually the lightest and easiest, bringing The Authority and Planetary together to fight a common, ancient menace from the Bleed (the connecting tissue in which the multiple universes "are", in a way). Fun fact: The two teams team-up without actually meeting and eventually shutting up the bad guys. Aside from the Lovecraft quotes (and the funny cameo of the writer himself), the book pits two different visions of superheroism against each other, wonderng wha would happen if almighty heroes who took it upon themselves to put things right ever lost their unflinching moral compass. The second tale is what would have been an "elseworlds" tale in the Nineties: An alternative view of DC Comics' heroes. In this case, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman nver were, because the Planetary foundation (their turn to go bad) turned from researchers to hoarders and control-freaks, killing all of the planet's heroes before they even started. But Bruce Wayne is alive and kicking and putting his detective skills to work: he has aúncovered it all, found Krypton's only survivor and the last Amazon alive and brought them together to fight back finally. The last novella is Ellis & series's artist John Cassaday at their absolute best. Just like Grant Morrison ten years later, Ellis proves he understands the core concept of the Batman, what lies below the many iterations that many different artists and writers gave of him in his 70 years of history. Coming up with an intersting plot device (a kid able to teleport chunks of reality and connected information through multiple universes, made sick and a killer by his powers), Ellis uses it to explore the Batman mythos and Planetary looks almost like a witness to them. cassaday drwas the hell out of it, his art is so vital to this, so key to making the stroy work that noboy else could have done this book but him. One last note about the artists of the first two novellas: While I am not Ohil jimenez's number one fan, he does a great job in the first tale. However, I was absolutely amazed by what Ordway made of Warren Ellis's script. It is my guess that Ellis retained complete control of the book'sstorytelling, challenging Ordway (a very classic American artist) to go to darker places than he usually does, freeing him so that he could unleash his usually restrained artistic talents (the guy is also a writer) He channels the best George Perez here, absolutely a wonderful surprise! This collection is worth every penny and many, many readings. Enjoy!
this is a colection of three unusual one shot comics featureing the Planetary Orginisation. the first is a crossover between planetary and the authirity and considered "canon" the dialoge is sharp for the Planetary team but lacking something for the members of the authority. it is aplanetary book though, they do have the starring role. the second Story sees the team pitted against several various versions of batman in the wildstorm universe' version of gotham city. there is even a call out to frank millers fantastic arc "the dark night Returns" the final story takes place in an alternate universe where planetary take the place of the Four and are ruling the planet. however the Dc Universe's big three arnt going to let things go easily. batman superman and wonderwoman team up to take the evil planetary down, and interstingly not all of them make it.
I LOVE Planetary, I like the Authority and I often enjoy the JLA (and Batman, well, he's Batman, coolest of costumed crime-fighters). But this... Okay, it has it's moments, but the whole thing seems to be Warren desperately trying to drum up interest in his Planetary series (which, on its own, is fantastic - buy it, buy it ALL), rather than Warren having great ideas that he feels he just HAS to get down on paper. The Authority story is okay. The dialogue for the Planetary guys is sharp and funny, but when the Authority speak they 'sound' like day-time soap opera actors. The Wildstorm versions of the JLA trinity are fun but the story's fairly weak and quickly resolved. Jakita vs. Wonderwoman, Batman vs. Elijah, Superman vs. ... no-one really. The Batman/Planetary story... Well. Um. Nah, it tries to be funny but really never gets there. Oh well.