For a moment a joke from Arrested Development went trough i guess.
For a moment a joke from Arrested Development went trough i guess.
You should see how I get on typesetters for separating “therapist” on to two lines!
Not much to add on #11 that hasn’t already been said. I love the way the flashback surprises us with an appearance from Snow, and the sense we get of these two old friends being equals - not just in their capabilities, but in their status as relics from a bygone era who are both out of step with the modern world.
That last page is about as big a tease as there has been in this series so far, and sets us up for a twelfth issue that pushes the book into its next big phase - where things start to get really interesting.
I read issue #11 straight after #10 and that was a while ago.
Most of the things I wanted to talk about have been covered, shame on me for not taking notes at the time and giving them ready to share when we moved on.
After I read the whole series (a couple of times) I kept coming back to this cover. It’s everything.
Sorry, adding nothing of substance to this thread.
But a friends 50th birthday had me Amazon shopping him a present (after a few beers), and I got him the Planetary Omnibus.
Well, he has already read my collection of Planetary, and he doesn’t know what I’m getting him (now a few TP’s from my LCS).
So basically, this bad boy is mine.
I don’t know if that makes me a good person or a bad person, but I’m happy, and this is mine.
(I’ll read in either July or August holidays (probable), and hope to catch up to you)
If you get tired of it, I’ll take it off your hands free of charge.
Okay, there is a lot going on in this issue.
Essentially the issue is a single conversation between Snow, Jakita & Drums but it reveals so much and progresses the story quite significantly.
The use of the callbacks from previous issues is useful as we are getting to a point where some of the smaller details discussed may have been forgotten.
There are some great lines which again offer an insight into the organisation but also the relationships of this in the organisation. “I used to change your damn diapers.” This can be read one of two ways either Snow literally used to change her diapers and has known Jakita all her life, or, he is making a bit of a dig about the fact he trained her and often had to sort out her mess.
The conversation about Ambrose bringing about a further bout of recollection shows how easily the memory blocks are now being overcome but signify that there are still a large number of blank spots that Snow won’t get back until he has them explicitly signalled to him.
The last three pages, for me, make up for the heavy dialogue in the preceding pages. They also do a fantastic job of showing just what Snow can do with his powers and how strong they are (in a similar way the giant ants did for Jakita). We are left wondering if he was this powerful all along or if he is now able to access much more of his power and have greater control as the mental blocks are destroyed.
As for the fourth man, not what I was expecting at all.
What did you expect? I remember thinking it was Randall.
I was thinking Anna Hark, especially after the conversation with Ambrose.
I never suspected Anna Hark.
Cause she was kinda on a different track of the narrative.
It’s a good issue that feels like a real milestone for the series. We get a lot of answers, and I love the way that the power dynamic of the group immediately changes as a result (the little bit with the Drummer is great).
Even though it’s largely just people in a room talking, it feels very dramatic - in no small part due to Cassaday’s shot choices and the lighting of the scenes, I think.
The final sequence is very cinematic, and I love the way it pulls out to give a sense of the scale of Snow’s powers, and also the scope of The Four. The ice ‘4’ is also a nice reference to the flame ‘4’ that the Human Torch often used to make in the FF books, again playing on the idea that this world’s Four is an inverted version.
Also, we get a snatch of that scene with Sherlock Holmes for a second issue in a row, suggesting that it’s an important part of Snow’s backstory that we haven’t learned about yet. I wonder if we’ll see more of that in future?
Oh yes, and that cover.
Every page of the series so far! It reinforces the idea that this issue is a big deal: that everything in the story has been leading up to this.
In that way, it reminds me of the recap from Buffy season 5’s ‘The Gift’, which flashed through the entire series so far to give a sense that everything had been leading to that point.
It also reminds me of the vogue in the late '90s for posters that constructed a single image out of individual frames of a movie or TV show.
Wild storm are pretty dumb.
Why bother with an OHC when you can just by a cover-print?
In the words of Ike Eisenhower, let’s get biz-zay
Notably, the cover of this issue doesn’t have a title at all. Combine that with the cover image - every page of issues 1-11 in order, with an image of Elijah Snow superimposed above, and it’s signalling that this issue is deconstructing Planetary itself, and Snow in particular.
And the issue gets right down to business. It’s worth noting that in a way this is part 3, or maybe even part 4 of a story that’s taken up most of book 2. Snow left Four Voyagers Plaza at the end of issue 10, contacted John Stone, met up with him, and returned to Planetary. This issue is the first time Jakita and Drums have seen Snow since he went to Four Voyagers Plaza, and it’s the first time the three of them have been together since the end of issue 8
And Snow is all business here. A sharp word is enough to get Jakita and Drums to acquiesce to his orders, once they realise how serious he is. Their relationship changes forever in the 4th and 5th panels of page 1. Though it takes them a few more pages to realise it.
And at the same time, the line “I know I can’t slap you around. I know I can slap him around” shows that he knows the physical limits of his relationship with Jakita, even though he’s clearly in charge again.
But the issue’s first big reveal is that the Planetary Guide is a book that’s been published Underground since 1925, written by Snow. We start to get a feel for the true age of the organisation and learn immediately that Snow was involved in the past.
In a continuity moment, we get a reference to gunning down eggs of alien organic war-automata in Judgement, Rhode Island in January 1931 - this is, of course the first flashback in Planetary/Authority: Ruling the World.
The second revelation is that Snow knew Sherlock Holmes, and he learned how to be a detective from the legendary figure. Oh, and he knows who the Fourth Man is.
And this is Snow’s tactic - he gains knowledge, and he uses it as a weapon. He times his revelation to keep Jakita and Drums off-balance. Right after telling them he leaves the building, forcing them to follow to discover what he knows.
And right in the middle of this, he’s also thinking and figuring things out - like why was Jim Wilder investigating the destruction of the Hark building, if Anna Hark also has John Stone on the payroll? If, as Snow postulates, Hark knew the plinth was under there, then she wanted to turn Wilder into a superhuman.
But as a counterpoint to all that, we discover that Snow doesn’t remember Ambrose, and as soon as that block falls away, He realises that Ambrose hasn’t been around the whole year or more he’s been back at Planetary - and he misses him.
What’s also interesting here is the stabilisation of Snow’s relationship with Jakita and Drums - Drums is back to being snarky, but not mean, while Jakita is able to get angry with Snow, even though he’s clearly in charge again.
And we come to the halfway point of the story. The first book set up the world Planetary inhabits, ending with the introduction of The Four. The second gave us a sketch of The Four - we learn of their general operations in issues 8-10, we learn that they saw Planetary as an amusement until Snow got too good at beating them in 11 and 12. But we also learned a lot about Planetary. And if you remember my writeup of issue 7 I said that it doesn’t fit the rest of this volume tonally. The moment where Jakita looks at Snow sadly - explained here is the only thing that really links the story to the overreaching arc, it’s the only story in book that doesn’t mention The Four at all. As individual volumes, would Planetary book 2 have been a stronger story if issues 6 and 7 were swapped around? And then, would book 1 have been diminished by not having that cliffhanger moment?
In issues 11 and 12 we see a lot of flashbacks. All the ones involving Snow and a member of Planetary have been explained now. But there’s a few that deserve more examination. And as Snow says - the game’s afoot, so how these moments interact with the the battle against the Four remains to be seen.
They did that for the last issue of Promethea, of course.
Shall we move on?
Planetary #13 - “Century”
As an aside, I think at this point PLANETARY is moving along the culture shift from the postmodernism of the 80’s and 90’s (after WATCHMEN and DARK KNIGHT RETURNS) to the new modernism of the late 90’s and 21st century (ABC comics, WILDSTORM and MARVEL ULTIMATE – which led to the success of Marvel Entertainment).
Planetary starts as a deconstruction of the genre and gradually moves into reconstruction. This mirrors the direction fiction was moving at the time as well.
Dear journalist, if you want to discuss irony please don’t quote snipeshit Toby Young, the son of the man who neoligised the term ‘meritocracy’, otherwise known as the life peer Baron Young of Dartington.