Archive for Planetary

Friday Night Fights: A Swiftly Tilting Planetary!

It’s been another week. Another long, cold, fairly miserable week. Another week of alarm clocks, rushed lunches, tense meetings with the boss, wasted evenings in front of the TV. And that’s just for the folks who’ve got jobs. If you don’t have one, it’s even worse. You crave all that stuff that the employed people take for granted. Heck, it’s been a stressful week for all of us, and we all need to blow off some steam before the weekend with… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

Tonight, we’re taking our fight from 1999’s Planetary #6, as Jakita Wagner, the Planetary Organization’s resident superspeed tank, runs into William Leather in the secret hideout of the diabolical Four.

Have I mentioned before that you guys need to go get all the Planetary trade paperbacks, if you ain’t got ’em already? Well, I meant it! Go get ’em!

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Planetary Triumph


Planetary #27

It’s the last issue of “Planetary.”

To some of y’all, that don’t mean anything. Heck, in the entire time I’ve had this blog active, there has not been a single issue of “Planetary” that’s hit the stands. Some of y’all who aren’t comics vets may have never heard of it at all. Y’all have never gotten to hear me sing this comic’s praises. Let’s remedy that now.

“Planetary” is written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by John Cassaday. It focuses on a team of superhuman archaeologists out to explore the secret history of the world. They include Elijah Snow, a century-old hardass with ice powers; Jakita Wagner, a superstrong, superfast brawler; and the Drummer, a flake who’s able to mentally interface with computer systems and just about any other informational system, including radio waves, TV signals, and even genetic information. They’ve been witness to giant monsters in Japan, ghost cops in Hong Kong, the secret of Ayers Rock in Australia, the atomic monsters of the 1950s, the warped metahuman tragedies of Thatcher’s England, America’s first pulp heroes, and more. Ellis works in references to dozens of different books, comics, TV shows, and movies, all with a few twists to make our most familiar characters from fantastic fiction just a bit less familiar.

In the most recent issues, Elijah and the rest of his team have successfully defeated the Four, a secret conspiracy of superpowered tyrants, ruling the world in hiding and keeping the miracles of the universe to themselves to keep from benefiting  mankind. With the Four out of the way, the global Planetary organization has begun to sift through the Four’s secret knowledge, releasing cancer cures, miracle machines, energy wonders, and more for the rest of the world. But Elijah doesn’t care about that — he wants to save an old friend, Ambrose Chase, who vanished during a mission that went bad years ago. Ambrose could control the flow of time, and he theorizes that he froze himself in time to keep from dying of gunshot wounds. The Drummer thinks they can save him if they build a time machine — but building a time machine could have the unfortunate side effect of, well, ending history.

Verdict: I’m gonna have to do this in two parts — once for the “Planetary” fans and another for those who aren’t as familiar.

For the fans: HUGE thumbs up. Go get it. There’s not a ton of action, but the point of “Planetary” has never been about action anyway. In a series that averages at least one Crowning Moment of Awesome per issue, this issue pulls off one of the best. You get to see Elijah being Elijah, Jakita being Jakita, the Drummer being the Drummer. There are miracles and surprises and beautiful moments galore. Warren Ellis kicks ass in this one. John Cassaday kicks ass in this one. Go get it, fans, and don’t let anything get in your way.

And for the non-fans, the folks who aren’t familiar with “Planetary”: Don’t go get this comic. I’m serious. Do not get this comic. Why would you want your first exposure to this series be the final issue? No, go get the first trade paperback instead. And when you’re done with that one, go get the rest. Get in at the beginning of the ride so you enjoy the entire thing all the way through.

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Friday Night Fights: Elijah Snow vs. a Table!

Traditionally, Friday Night Fights is all about unleashing the fisticuffs on the unsuspecting chins of those schmuckbunnies around you. But sometimes, you just gotta beat up furniture.

From Planetary #12 by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday, Elijah Snow takes out his frustrations on a frozen desk.


Hmf, beating up on a poor defenseless table…

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Friday Night Fights: Knockout!

For the past two weeks, you have been utterly lost, bereft of that which sustains us all. It was most fortunate that you had Christmas and New Year’s to distract you from your sorrow, or who knows what could have happened? But have no fear! Your life has meaning again — your life has hope again! Your life has… FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!

To kick off this next round of mighty battles, let’s turn to the highly, highly recommended “Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth” from August 2003, by Warren Ellis, John Cassaday, and David Baron, in which the Batman from “The Dark Knight Returns” puts his fist through the Drummer’s mostly defenseless face:

No, that’s not a very large picture, but you’ve spent the past two weeks with a bunch of “Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men” stuff — I didn’t think you’d be able to deal with a BIG picture of face-punching this severe yet. Maybe next week.

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