Week #4: Planetary

Planetary was a really… weird read. The story by Warren Ellis follows a secret organization called planetary, an group of 3 individuals headed by a mysterious benefactor. The group is made up of Elijah Snow (a hundred year old man who has cold powers), Jakita Wagner (a super strong and super fast bad-ass) and The Drummer (a slightly crazy, pain in the ass that can talk to machines). These three travel the world as archaeologists uncovering strange things and secrets of their world.

I bought the graphic novel and reading the foreword by Alan Moore really gave me a different perspective while reading. Basically, Moore gives some context about the creation and the intentions behind creating Planetary. It was written just before the turn of the century when everybody was looking to the future for change and to move away from the past of the last century. As well it also came after one of the hardest and worst times for the comic book genre. Taking all this into account was really had an impact on how i read the book. As the characters literally dig up the past and revisit our greatest hits of the 20th century, Ellis convinces us that the past of comic books still offers a lot of hidden gems and stories yet to be discovered. That to move forward we must also look back to where we have been… even though the immediate history is not that pretty. We see his efforts to argue that the comic book genre is not dead and that it needs to keep pushing boundaries, as planetary does, through the repetition of stating strange is good. We see Axel Brass iterate this point when meeting with his secret organization and we also see this at the end of the 1st issue when Snow and Wagner remark about how strange the world is. Overall I really enjoyed this comic and thought it was a unique commentary on the superhero genre.

2 thoughts on “Week #4: Planetary

  1. Woah, given that context that you said about Alan Moore I think i have a new appreciation for Planetary. It makes a lot more sense now that they’re archeologists of the strange. I think being able to revisit historic genres of the past does allow for new re-interpratations. Thanks for that insight!


  2. Hey I really liked the extra step you took in providing what Alan Moore had intended for the comic. I also really liked this quote “That to move forward we must also look back to where we have been…”. I think it really summed up the time these issues was written in and what was happening in the comics itself!


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