HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Comics Today's Date:

Hey Kids! Comics!

Planetary #18
writer: Warren Ellis
artist: John Cassaday

This frustratingly infrequent book has never failed to provoke a little thought and garner a little intrigue as the members of Planetary slowly circle their opponents, The Four. The thought-provoking comes from Ellis' retelling and blending of twentieth century pulp fiction. Lucky for him that Alan Moore hasn't got that far with The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

For the first time in a few issues (it seems like years and may actually be), the main plot gets some forward momentum as Elijah Snow has his first direct confrontation with one of The Four. Clearly, Ellis has his own opinions on whether the world will end in fire or ice. And this half of the story works pretty well, though it quickly meanders off into an exploration of another fictional event from world literature - the first moonshot.

Unlike a lot of previous adventures of Snow and Planetary, this one touches on a fairly obscure work, known more by title than by content. As Snow alludes to an incredulous Jakita Wagner, though, it's one piece of science fiction that influenced rocket science well into the 1980's. But Ellis cannot resist a little coup de grace of having Jules Verne's signature on a journal explaining the whole thing.

Aside from not having Snow actually read it, it's a jarring touch because it's unclear whether or not we should think From The Earth To The Moon actually exists as a novel in this world. Did Verne actually work to bring his visions to life rather than write about them? If he had been a writer, then the young adventurer Snow would surely have been influenced by his work.

It's one of the problems of such meta-fictional conceits, especially when it's all billed as "The Secret History." What inspires these people, if the imaginative literature doesn't actually exist? (Even The Planetary Guide that Snow has revised throughout the twentieth century is treated as something not many people really know about.)

Usually, the story pounds away without us noticing. But because Ellis gets elegiac on us here, that little brain-twister glares almost too much for Cassaday's incredible art to cover. The actual answers all lie in his layouts, and they're really beautifully done. But in the end, there's not much to add up for either reader or protagonist.

Consider this a rare misstep in an otherwise fantastic series. In trade paperback form, it will seem less like a hiccup and more like the little sidetrack it's meant to be. When you get these installments at the whim of artist and writer, though, it's hard to be patient.


Derek McCaw


Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites