Last time I got to thoughtbubble a few years ago, and Charlie Adlard was there with a huge queue of walking dead fans - I rocked up with just a copy of The Establishment #1…
Edgington and Adlard: West Midlands combo
I reread issue #6 yesterday and I don’t think I have much to add to what’s already been said, other than I love the little touch on the cover of Planetary’s dossier about the Four - where a couple of little creases and marks added by Cassaday suggest the transformation of the Four’s logo into a swastika.
A thought just occurred to me. Jakita and The Drummer told Elijah about The Four after he had his conversation with Brass, and he took the initiative in helping Jim Wilder. Is this a deliberate move to keep Snow on-side? Did they eavesdrop on Snow and Brass’ conversation?
Couldn’t it be that they also had conversations with Brass about Elijah?
That’s also a possibility, of course. We didn’t see Snow swear Brass to secrecy or anything.
I think I’ve only read the gaint Squid crossover.
What was the other one?
So reading through the cross-over last night (once I’d located it in the omnibus) I realised that it was actually The Authority that I had read issue one of a few years back.
I’m interested in what Jakita’s angle is with her desperation to hack The Authority computers. It certainly seems like there is an agenda at Planetary (especially when you take into account issue 6) that is not necessarily interested in just the protection of the planet. Having said that it always pays to have good intel on everyone, even your friends, in case they go rogue.
Was the author that Snow helped with the ahem “Negro” eggs… supposed to be lovecraft? I’m not sure if the dates fitted but some of the stuff regarding alternate dimensions certainly did.
Does anyone know if the preview story is in the omnibus?
The preview story is a bit of an iffy subject for me. It’s pretty tame and the conceit isn’t very much explored. Maybe it’s because the Hulk as a character is so near and dear to me, but I couldn’t really get into it that much. How it’s played with also has no real room to grow. It’s just a short story told through one man’s testimony. The ending lines as well imply some depth that comes across as pretty hollow. As a preview I can definitely see how it would do the trick. It sets up the series as being this sideways glance as superhero narratives through fiction within a historical context. And it does enough to gain traction and interest.
The Authority/Planetary: Ruling the World
I can’t really make heads or tails of this one. I’ve read Authority and such, but the crossover really has too much, and then too little, going on. Kinda ping-pongs back and forth between the two levels of engagement. You have an Authority world plot and there’s barbs being exchanged alongside funny non-sequitur bits.
This is a kind of running issue I have with the 3 crossovers, honestly.
The preview story is in the omni, between issues 12 and 13, so you’ll have to flip forwards and try not to look at the surrounding issues!
How about the single issue Batman crossover?
Preview - This is quite an interesting little issue. I actually found myself wishing it was longer, I’d love to have seen what Paine actually looked like after the event as opposed to just having it hinted at.
A little expansion on the 24 days would have been nice too.
It does exactly what it is supposed to however and gets it’s hooks into the audience. Here is a story we recognise but which is also significantly different, as are many of the issues of Planetary.
There is a nice link to the snowflake in the colours of the bomb when it goes off, perhaps the computer that is also a bomb invented by Paine is actually a different iteration of the, as yet unknown, computer in the mountain.
I guess we’ll maybe try and cover the one-shots in release order, at times that don’t interrupt the flow of the main series too much. Whatever everyone thinks is best.
The main reason I suggested the Authority crossover at this point is that it’s in continuity - The Drummer mentions its events in issue 12 - but this is a good break point to include it. Planetary/Batman can fit in anywhere and Planetary/JLA is an alternate universe.
Preview: Nuclear Spring
This is an enjoyable enough little short that serves as much to set out the tone and basic concept of Planetary as to tell a story in its own right, and in that respect it’s pretty good. It’s interesting to see a prototypical approach to the team, both in terms of Ellis’ take on the characters and Cassaday’s art - which is fine, but occasionally feels a little bit
once you’re familiar with the characters from the main series.
The story is a cute little riff on the Hulk but feels a bit on-the-nose because of that. It makes you realise what a good choice it was for the series proper to build up its own mythology a little bit before going for another such direct take-off of another comic, like we just saw in issue #6.
Planetary/Authority: Ruling The World
This is a really interesting exercise in how different in style these two books are to each other. It’s not wholly successful in meshing those two styles, but it throws up some cool moments and sets up an uneasy relationship between the two teams.
Maybe it’s because I’m reading it as part of the Planetary reread, but this definitely feels more like a Planetary issue guest-starring the Authority than the other way around. Yes, we get a lot of the Authority’s characteristic Widescreen Action ™, but it feels like we largely see things from Planetary’s point of view.
Plus, I wonder whether there’s really enough information here for a hypothetical Authority reader who hasn’t read Planetary to ‘get’ stuff like the significance of the Adirondacks location and how it ties into the plot here.
Weirdly though, it feels more satisfying a story on the Authority level of big action and spectacle (and political/moral concerns) than it does as a Planetary story. I think that’s partly due to the issue’s ending, which again feels like those very early issues of Planetary where a lot of setup leaves too little room for a really satisfying resolution, so you’re left with a quick wrap-up, a glib exchange between two characters, and then that’s it.
But it still feels as though it does both teams justice, even though there’s a sense of unfinished business between them at the end (not least because, of course, this is quite famously a non-crossover crossover issue in which the two teams never actually meet, even though they’re shown to be aware of each other and operating in the same areas). Unless you count that great teasing single page of Elijah Snow and Jenny Sparks’ shared history…
Also, the art is really good throughout. Following in the footsteps of both Cassaday and Bryan Hitch is a big task, but Jimenez pulls it off with style. I love some of his creature designs - there’s a touch of the JLA fighting Starro in the opening battle with the giant squid - and the characters and locations all look recognisably on-model to the point where the transition isn’t jarring. I particularly like his take on The Carrier, and the alternate reptilian Authority are very cool (as are the hints that that team make a habit of killing Planetary teams throughout the multiverse).
It’s maybe worth ending with a contemporary quote from Ellis on his hopes and goals for the issue, to get a sense of what he was aiming to achieve with it.
I’d say he pulled it off.
Oh, and Snow kicking the Drummer up the arse never gets old.