Alright, I have a confession to make. I don’t really care for Warren Ellis comic books. Now hang on a second, that doesn’t mean that I don’t respect the guy as a prolific writer or that I’ve never read anything of his that I’ve enjoyed. Not true at all. It’s just that outside of one huge exception, his overall style and sense of humor never managed to grab me in the same way as books by say…Morrison, Moore or dozens upon dozens of other writers out there have. So what is it? The one book of his that actually rests alongside some of what I feel are the best comics ever written?
Well Planetary, of course.
The premise is simple. Imagine characters from all of your favorite old genre movies (sci-fi, horror, Hong Kong action, etc.), super-hero comic books and pulp magazines actually exist and in the same universe no less (well, at least thinly veiled versions of them). Now what if there was a team of “Archaeologists of the Impossible” tracking down and documenting the rich history that a world like this would provide while at the same time getting mixed up in all of the action? It’s pretty awesome stuff with the added bonus of catching all of the little references standing out as a lot of fun.
And the art? Whoo-boy, saying that the art is gorgeous is a massive understatement when you’ve got a guy like John Cassady providing the pencils. The fact that he stayed on for the duration of the series lends a nice flow and consistency that is sadly lacking in other books that run past 12 issues (Also as a nice bonus along side the main series, the Planetary team featured in some pretty cool one-shots. Three total, focusing on run-ins with everyone from Batman to H.P. Lovecraft!).
The fourth hardcover releases this week wrapping up the series with issue #27, so now after over ten years, it’s finally possible to sit down and read the entire thing without any painful hiatus.
Check out the rest of this week’s releases by clickinnnnng this!