Jason's Reviews > Planetary, Vol. 1: All Over the World and Other Stories

Planetary, Vol. 1 by Warren Ellis
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Mar 05, 10

Read in December, 2009

This is probably the last of the pick-ups I will make from Comics Should Be Good's excellent series of posts from last year. Planetary is a superhero book about the concept of super heroes. Planetary is about the craft of comic book making. Planetary is about the genre and it's tried and true narrative choices. Planetary is about the roots of comic book universes, its influences and the faults they create. Planetary asks the question -- what would you do if you could remake the world?

And, ultimately, Planetary is fun. Outside of Marvel's Jessica Jones, there isn't a recently created comic book character I enjoy more than Elijah Snow. Dressed entirely in white and introduced with memory issues, a long and mysterious history, and a generally short temper and bad attitude, he's an engrossing and engaging character. In the face of extremely off-kilter situations, he's—to be blunt—unfuckwithable.

So, in this context, where he is met (along with his partners Jakita Wagner and The Drummer) with familiar comic book scenarios and characters in completely nutball scenarios, he allows the audience to go totally "fan-boy" over the awesomeness of these re-imagined origin stories and genre plays while also appreciate the comic as a comic.

These are super heroes doing super hero things in a world where comic book super fans know something is amiss. We can never truly forget that there's a writer/artist combination here with a master plan. We know they are trying to work out some of their own feelings about the state of their industry through the medium they know best. The great gift of Planetary, however, is that they do all of this in service of the story rather than the other way around.

Planetary never forgets to be a great comic book with surprising twists and turns and awe-inspiring art on every page.

This is why I can't wait for the next and final collection to come out next week. It's been a great ride.
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