Comics Creators

Millarworld book club: Planetary issue 26 - The end!


That’s an interesting theory. The first example that springs to mind is Snow’s frozen ‘4’ over the green parkland in issue #12, which certainly fits the bill.

Quite a bit of green used in the Hark issue, too.


From a quick glance through my hardbacks:

There’s a very cool green used when Dowling propositions Snow
When the Planet Fiction ship is opened, there’s a green light which illuminates the project lead
The pictures of the pre-change Four in their spacesuits have green visors.
The panel Jim Wilder presses when he accepts the change is blue-green.

There’s possibly something to that if you look at the Hark issue, where she’s bathed in red light for most of the conversation (as I noted for issue 21 there’s a recurring colour motif of crimson with the four), but after she and Snow come to their agreement she walks forward to embrace Wilder she moves into neutral light, clearly showing her green clothes and makeup.


When the Four are in space (and beyond) it seems there’s a lot of green. Black-green-gray-blue-white spacecraft and such.


Just finished a watch of The Quatermass Experiment (2005) with Jason Flemyng and David Tennant. Seem to recall the earlier version(s). Something to let Lorcan loose on first thing Sunday morning.

Quatermass and the Pit I remember clearly.



Planetary #22: “The Torture of William Leather”


Not MY Lone Ranger! :laughing:


So… not much to say about this issue, anyone? :slight_smile:

There are several things I like about it. I like the way it draws an explicit line linking the Western heroes of the 19th century, the pulp heroes of the early 20th century, the superheroes of the mid-to-late 20th century and the sci-fi heroes of the 21st century and beyond. Giving Leather the family history that we see in this issue is a great way of drawing those parallels and pointing to that influence and evolution.

There’s a lot of interesting detail filled in here about the backstory that underpins the series: century babies, the crew of pulp heroes we meet in issue #1, the way The Four came together (and their motivations) and the explicit visual connection between the hard-drives in Hong Kong, Snow’s visions last issue and the Snowflake; there’s a lot of joining the dots here in a way that feels natural and satisfying.

Plus, we get an answer on why Snow kept ‘forgetting’ he had Leather in custody: his capture is being kept top-secret. And the events of this issue give us some strong hints as to why.

Cassaday gets some great shots in here - the splashpage of the Lone Ranger-type figure on his horse is a real showstopper (although a little too close to the cover to really stand out), and those closing images are horrific and disturbing in the way they live up to this issue’s title…

Things are really coming together now, and this issue gives us a real sense of the stakes being raised.


I loved the art and the storytelling, but, to me, the emotional impact was “Ah. So that’s what happened.” It felt informative, like a good history class.


The part about Leather resenting not getting powers from his ‘father’ (and it leading him to become part of The Four) was the most interesting part of the issue in that emotional respect for me.

But I agree, the way the issue is laid out feels a bit bang-bang-bang in ticking off plot points rather than really telling the characters’ stories.


Indeed. For me, the part that i found most interesting (or resonated better) , was the felling of Resentment that finally drives Leather to do what he does.

In a way, it reminds me of what i call “The Syndrome Conundrum” from the Pixar movie “The incredibles”.
To make things short (and because mi dominion over the Bard´s languaje is debatable) I always kinda see the views about Super people in the movie (Especially when Mr. Incredible talks) like a little Aynd Rand"ish" (Yeah, i´ve just do that) to my taste.
All that “There are exceptional People and the burden of the common man is keeping them down”, just doesn´t sit well with me.
I can understand Leather because i totally understand the kind of inferiority complex (on a global scale) that a real Superhuman will have in the humanity as a whole, and in me (because i´m given myself permission to be selfish) In particular.
We ALL are especial (so i´m told), but, what how special is my ability of kicking a football real well when compared with someone who has the power to put a football in orbit with a kick?
So, usually, I ended up siding with Syndrome; the guy that wants to “Spread the wealth” (and destroy things with awesome robots… that´s very, very important) sort of speak.

It really is one of the moral (Or ethical) issues that i have with the superhero concept, and genre (A genre that i, on the other hand, absolutely love)

Ok, things turned out a little autobiographical, but so is my relationship with the some of the best comics that i´ve read.


I just finished Wrath of Khan in the Star Trek thread! Soon!


It’s been a week so I’ll put this up for anyone that wants to move on, but let’s keep talking about #22 too as I’m sure there’s more to unpack there.

Planetary #23: “Percussion”

I’ll leave it a bit longer before putting #24’s cover up so that we have time to cover both.


Agreed, I sided with the villain in the Incredibles too.


Wait 22 was my favorite issue of the series, and oh damn missed it




Planetary 22: The Darkness In The Hearts of Man, Nobody Knows

I’m not lying that this is my favorite issue of the series. For me, it is the apex of the world of this series. Seamlessly re-crafting a legacy that had never had much substance and making it the forefront. Integrating a sense of purpose, and yes, destiny, into each and making their connection that much the stronger. It relies on them to reinvigorate and regenerate a sense of appeal. The masked mystery man. It doesn’t do any harm that it is also a beautiful issue, the use of darks and monochrome is so striking. It becomes such a great family that it is easy to laugh in misery and relief that Leather was cast out of it.


Agreed Tom, Cassaday was at the top of his game in this issue. Together with the colours it is an amazing piece of art.

On one brilliant page we get call backs to the snowflake image, the “afterlife hard drive” from issue #3, and the DMT flower from the trippy issue #21, which become associated in nature and in purpose.

Snow’s questionable actions in this issue led me to suspect that (spoiler for later issue) Dowling had wormed his way into Snow’s mind.


I’ve neglected this thread while I’ve been away. Time to drum up some interest again? :slight_smile:

Issue #23 gives us the secret origin of the Drummer. It’s a fun flashback story that gets a lot of mileage out of treating now-familiar and everyday tech concepts like the internet as new and untested ideas that lack public support, which also plays into the idea that crops up throughout this series of certain characters or concepts being underestimated by others.

On the whole, the issue serves lots of purposes, and giving us the Drummer’s backstory actually turns out to be one of the least important (although it’s still interesting and adds a personal connection to his battle against The Four, as well as explicitly designating his powers as unique and special).

The story also serves to make explicit exactly what’s going on with Snow and Leather; exactly how much Drummer and Jakita know about it; exactly what they think of it; and exactly what the timeframe has been for the events of the last few issues.

It’s a valuable recap (especially for readers who would have been enjoying this series at its original “monthly” pace - which became increasingly irregular towards the end of the run) and helps set up the final act of the story nicely.

We also get to see Ambrose Chase in action again, which also feels like important setup for the Drummer’s conclusions at the end of the issue (and the developments of the end of the series), as well as simply being a welcome chance to see an enjoyable character be given the spotlight again.

As far as the art goes, there are some great touches from Cassaday here: I love the way he plays up the humour of the bathroom scene with his facial expressions and staging, and the subsequent action scene is both exhilarating (with Jakita and Chase’s high-speed actions early on packing quite a punch) and shocking (with the fate of the other kids shown in unflinchingly graphic detail). The aeroplane rescue sequence is also pulled off perfectly, in a great example of cinematic sequential storytelling.

But I do have a rare complaint with Cassaday’s work here, and it’s the insertion of fairly crudely-manipulated photo elements in certain scenes. The skyscraper that the quartet escape from in that otherwise impressive giant image feels like it doesn’t belong in the same comic as the rest of the scene, and there’s a similarly jarring inclusion of manipulated photo elements in the subsequent sequence with Stone.

I don’t know whether it was a deliberate stylistic choice or due to deadline pressures, but it’s a shame that in an issue with so many impressive visuals (another I haven’t mentioned yet is Stone’s impressively sleek Nick Fury-esque flying car), these couple of stylistically different elements really stand out and call attention to themselves.

Finally, reference-wise, a couple occur to me but I don’t know if either is intentional. The cover really reminds me of this poster, but it’s not a direct homage:


I’m also not sure why there would be a particular reason to reference that 1998 movie in this 2005 issue.

Another uncertain reference comes on the first page. The green text and computerised font used to show machines ‘talking’ to the Drummer is highly reminiscent of the way Ex Machina’s mayor Mitch Hundred talks to machines in that series.

Coincidence, or a playful jab at BKV for using a similar concept to the Drummer in Ex Machina (which began in 2004)? Again, I’m not sure.


This is the stuff from the first page that I’m talking about, by the way.



Any more for any more?