Planetary #3 - When Doves Fly
This issue is very much in the same mold as the second: premise, investigation, and then some remarks about the premise, end. I agree with much of the points above, about how Ellis is really just finding his way around the series, and setting down how the team operates. I would say that, for how much the issue lacks in content, it makes a huge leap ahead from the second in two major areas.
One, we see an actual continuation/conclusion of the main premise’s narrative, and some minor dialogue that gives it more weight than the nothing of consequence that weighed down #2. It’s not as much as subsequent issues would give to their hooks, but it’s a step in the right direction. It hangs upon this whole revenge-killing idea that does pervade many foreign action films, and obviously some famous Japanese/Chinese ones.
Two, Cassady is able to show off his cinematic action chops. The opening sequence of the Ghost Cop dispatching that car of gangsters is fantastic. It’s one of the most succinct and effective sequences in the entire series. When playing with the sorta asian action mold, Cassady’s work does as much as Ellis’s writing could ever do in these pages.
It does get a bit trite in the dialogue though, much more trite than other issues would get, as it explicitly states itself and comes off as awkward instead of the “sideways glance” other issues would get. Reminded me of a less comedic version of the later John Constantine issue - which was meant to be more sardonic and to the point.
But…good issue and the art is one of the favorite the series had to offer.