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Planetary: Who Is The Fourth Man? (Planetary #2)

4.37  ·  Rating Details ·  8,816 Ratings  ·  148 Reviews
This new collection of The Planetary answers some of the questions that readers have had about the mysterious members of the Planetary team.
Published April 1st 2001 by Wildstorm (first published March 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

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Jul 12, 2011 Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This volume of Planetary explores, and ultimately reveals, the secret of the mysterious Fourth Man of Planetary and also exposes the breathtaking scope and breadth of the crimes perpetrated by the Four upon the world in the name of their great game.

Issue 7 – “To be in England, in the Summertime”: Planetary attends the funeral of Jack Carter, the man everyone in the occult underworld was afraid of and owed favours to. Cute issue with plenty of nods to Alan Moore and the ‘dark and gritty’ world of
Sam Quixote
"Was that Spider Jerusalem?" was my thought when I saw the ending to the first story. And then the riffs on Hellblazer, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern... but I'm jumping around. But then that's what Ellis and Cassaday do with this strange series, Planetary, they leap from one story to another, each one seemingly unconnected, with odd glimpses into sci-fi storylines that seem faintly familiar and intriguing.

Readers who made it through the first book hoping for more clarity in the second
Travis Duke
I still like planetary, even its scope is pretty wide. Ellis likes to weave a big old story and intro lots of characters over the course of 75 years. Some of the issues are stand alone or minor puzzle pieces that fit later and to me they are slightly boring. Snow is a central character and is its clear his story is important as time goes on and by mid way the book picks up and gets better pushing the main plot along. Snow has memory problems and his is starting to fill in the gaps with his team. ...more
Sep 18, 2016 Octavi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Muy bueno. Y con giros potentes de guión.
Oct 22, 2013 Shaun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A just wrote a fairly long review about volume one, so I'll keep this one brief. Or brief-ish.

Basically, a gobbled this volume up a day and half after finishing the first volume. Talk about a second coarse, this one continues to build on the greatness that the first volume had already established. I could talk about how much I love the concept, the characters, Ellis's butcher's blade-sharp dialogue, his wonderful tributes to all things comics, old and new (we're even treated to some of my favori

What Ellis began in the first book of "Planetary", he digs us in deeper in this one.

The concept of paying tribute to all kinds of things from 100 years of pop culture and wrapping it in a mysterious plot with enigmatic characters, really... It's just amazing.

This volume shows tributes to John Constantine and all of Vertigo, 1950's films, Allison Hayes (born right down the road in Charleston, WV), Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Nick Fury, and Sherlock Holmes, among other things.

The s
Aug 24, 2012 Alejandro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-book
This second tpb of Planetary gives more clues behind the secret history of Planetary, also it has amazing stories combining science fiction and urban legends in a spectacular way. Great scenes, good dialogues, powerful images. Great episodes where you can see how super heroes myths could faced with deadly outcomes. As in the first tpb, it helps a little if you read some of The Authority, here, it helps a bit if you read some of StormWatch. It's not that you had to do it but it doesn't hurt to gi ...more
Apr 18, 2011 Julian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a review of the full four-volume saga, consisting of Planetary, Volume. 1: All Over the World and Other Stories, Planetary, Volume 2: The Fourth Man, Planetary, Volume 3: Leaving the 20th Century and Planetary, Volume 4: Spacetime Archaeology. I will review the companion volume Planetary: Crossing Worlds elsewhere. I'm doing this because the four books simply don't work independently. Most of book 2 is completely incomprehensible until you read book 3, at which point all the apparently r ...more
Apr 19, 2013 arjuna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everyone keeps telling me how wonderful Planetary is... and I'm sure it *is* wonderful when you have the contextual knowledge to get *everything* that Ellis is playing around with. My comic-universe knowledge so far is sporadic, so my enjoyment of the series (and of course rating) has to reflect that. It's very clear that it's all about the fanlove when you get right down to it. Which is, I think, good: the cleverness and jokes one *doesn't* get *do* prompt one to read widely and figure stuff ou ...more
Feb 04, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What Ellis and Cassaday are doing here is questioning fiction, heroes, villains itself. Not doing it in the turgid, cold academic way of Alan Moore, but through a plot filled with action, mystery and layers of deceit and revelation. That is, they're telling a damned good story and having fun with everything they've observed and criticised about comicdom.

Ellis must have a pretty thick notebook filled with little throwaway ideas of new heroes, interesting scenarios - to be littering these books w
TJ Shelby
May 25, 2010 TJ Shelby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. After being thoroughly underwhelmed by Book One and wondering if people were just being trendy and kissing Warren Ellis' ass...well, that was until I read this book.

Warren Ellis proves he is a healthy dose of Kerouac mixed with Palahniuk. Planetary is a group, "Archaeologists of the Impossible," which reads like a Superheroes X-Files meets The Watchmen. Excellent storytelling by Ellis keeps you on the edge of your seat and, of course, ends on a perfect cliffhanger to leave you eagerly anti
Mar 13, 2013 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, graphic-novel
Fun, although I saw the reveal coming from pretty far away. If you liked volume 1 this should be up your alley.

Issue #10 seems to get all the love, but as someone who mostly doesn't give a shit about old school superhero comics, it did basically nothing for me. It isn't bad or anything, but it gets a lot of praise that frankly I don't think it deserves. Top marks in this volume for issue #8 from me instead.
C. Derick
Mar 13, 2016 C. Derick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While this does have a few flaws, Planetary's commentary on the fiction universe of comics--Marvel and Vertigo's effects on the nature of the narrative--as well as the paranoid world that Planetary exists in continues to develop in interesting ways. Often issues jump back for context and leave the main narrative behind but even things that seem arbitrary are beginning to add up. Ellis and Cassidy are really at top game with Planetary.
Richard Guion
Jun 28, 2011 Richard Guion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Issues 7-12 of Planetary really paid off for the patient reader. A lot of hints were dropped earlier about the past team members, Ambrose Chase and the mysterious Fourth Man. Those mysteries are revealed here. Along the way Ellis devotes an issue to the Vertigo books (with a character similar to John Constantine), an alien invasion, and a Nick Fury like character with nods to Jim Steranko on the cover. You can really see John Cassaday's artwork grow by leaps and bounds with each issue.
Jeff Raymond
This really picked up much better compared to the first book. Now that the "problem of the week" stuff is gone and the real digging into the mythology is occurring, I find myself enjoying this a lot more.

The book ends with a great place to send this toward the conclusion of the story, and I'm looking forward to diving in as soon as possible. Really great.
Artemy Nizovtsev
May 24, 2015 Artemy Nizovtsev rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, dc
Okay, this was a bit better than the first volume. Some things start to come together. It is still very episodic, kind of incoherent, and there is still this subtle feeling that Ellis is simply fucking with you just for the hell of it. But the stories are better. And the art is still gorgeous. Hope it gets better still in the last two volumes. Reading on.
Jul 06, 2010 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Some really brilliant comics here, told in a great way in which the ongoing themes and plotlines are hidden pretty well in the first half of the book. They start to come together in this volume, and really kick into gear in the second half of the run.
Shannon Appelcline
There's a bit too much arc for this to have the simple beauty of the first volume, but there's still some great stories (like the giant ants and the Ambrose stories) and the arc sets up a compelling path for the future of the series.
Oliver Hodson
Mar 11, 2017 Oliver Hodson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was lost at times but I liked that the mystery of the fourth man grew and the antagonists were not certain or pinned down. It's a pretty interesting take on superhero mythos and I liked the issue that did a pastiche on superman, green lantern and wonder woman. Almost qualifies for best wonder woman origin I have read, and it wasn't even her.
This story isn't sticking in my head as much as the Invisibles did, but it's pleasantly up there with that kind of take on a super team.
The Lost Dreamer
Jul 10, 2017 The Lost Dreamer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing, full of creativity and very fun. I've enjoyed particularly the revision of Superman's, Wonder Woman's and Green Latern's genesis. Ellis creates a version of Wonder Woman that seems more interesting than many regular writers of the character.
About the plot, maybe it becomes a little erratic in this book. Too any things in the writer's mind, too many ideas that aren't always easy to follow for the reader. But it always makes you eager to read more, which is always a good sign.
Dom Lovallo
This book was a bit of a mess and a bit too jumpy for me following volume 1. It did little to develop the 3 main characters, and the little stories I didn't even enjoy in this arc. Sorry planetary, you have persuaded me to read on still!
Mr. Twinkie
Jul 20, 2017 Mr. Twinkie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is interesting, I'll give it that.
Feb 18, 2017 Annie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't want to get ahead of things, but this series feels like it might finally be gaining traction. This volume mostly achieves what I've hoped for all along - that the different story elements at play are able to work together and reinforce each other rather than simply be stuck together. This volume helps move the intermittent central storyline forward and is overall better constructed than previous issues. The art still varies between good and strange, and the story still has its flaws. An ...more
Feb 21, 2017 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I know who the Fourth Man is."
Feb 19, 2017 Đenis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrow-ed, cmx
Pár rozličných príbehov na prvý pohľad nesúvisiacich, jemne prepojených. Hlavný bod programu - Snow odhaľuje identitu Štvrtého.
Jul 22, 2012 Justinbwood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this volume, the Planetary series really begins to fulfill its promise. I enjoyed the first book, but my problem with it was that the stories were too passive. Though creative, unique and beautiful, the main characters were really just listening to someone tell them a story. The characters are definitely cool, and with this book, the most fascinating, Elijah Snow, really comes alive.

As I mentioned in my review of the first volume, I love Elijah Snow because he doesn't have all the answers. In
Nadine Jones
Things get really really weird in volume two. We learn stuff, more questions are raised, and then we learn more stuff that really ups the ante on this story. Where is this going? It's amazing that I feel like is could be real, real secret societies operating on our plane because I don't believe in that stuff. Also, the art is pretty great.

Chapter 7: who is Jack Carter?,good guy or bad guy?
Chapter 8: holy cow giant ants and government experiments on people in City Zero!!
Chapter 9: what the hell i
Benjamin Featherston
In this second volume, "Planetary" shifts away from episodic pastiches of comic book and science fiction properties and begins to flesh out its own mythology. Although there are still standalone adventures, such as a loving tribute to the Great Britain comics revolution of the eighties and a less successful "realistic" reimagining of the Justice League, these are now more explicitly tied to a broader storyline involving evil organizations, lost memories, and secret pacts. As the bigger picture e ...more
Jan 02, 2017 Mouse rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It starts off ripping on John Constantine and at his funeral you can see several characters that are clearly meant to be from DC or Marvel-There's a Swamp Thing/Poison Ivy hybrid, Animal Man lookalike, the Metal Men, Ettrigan the Demon, etc..
That initially made it hard to get into and take serious.
The book riffs Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman and there's even a part where they say "Be the light in Blackest Night" and "You are a wonder my daughter"
*sigh ...That's the kind of stuff tha
Dec 16, 2012 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comic-books
Something I forgot to mention in my review of the first book that collected the series, is that another mystery involved in the series is The Fourth Man. This is the unknown benefactor and head of Planetary.

This book starts with the team going on some exploratory missions, showing some alternate versions of other comic book characters. Then a mission from the recent past which introduces Ambrose Chase, the man Elijah Snow replaced. With the third story, we see artifacts which are versions of Sup
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Graphic Novel Rea...: Planetary, Vol. 2: The Fourth Man 2 27 Mar 03, 2014 09:40AM  
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Warren Ellis is the award-winning writer of graphic novels like TRANSMETROPOLITAN, FELL, MINISTRY OF SPACE and PLANETARY, and the author of the NYT-bestselling GUN MACHINE and the “underground classic” novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN. The movie RED is based on his graphic novel of the same name, its sequel having been released in summer 2013. His graphic novel GLOBAL FREQUENCY is in development at Jerry ...more
More about Warren Ellis...

Other Books in the Series

Planetary (5 books)
  • Planetary, Volume 1: All Over the World and Other Stories
  • Planetary, Volume 3: Leaving the 20th Century
  • Planetary, Volume 4: Spacetime Archaeology
  • Planetary: Crossing Worlds

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