Volume 1-Issue 4
If you’re anything like me, then alternate-history “what-if?” scenarios touch your imagination at its most basic level. The idea of top secret decade-early trips to the moon, shadowy government cover-ups, and long-armed corporations harken back to childhood, where playing pretend meant convincing yourself that the monsters under your bed were there for only you to see.
If you’re like me, then the idea of pop culture representing real-world, ultra secret happenings delights your mind. You’re a detective, an “Archaeologist of the Impossible,” asking the tough questions; what if our movies, comics, and serials were based on the unseen, secret history of the 20th century?
If you’re like me, you need to read Planetary.
Warren Ellis’ Planetary is a work of art, and not just because of John Cassaday’s beautiful penciling and Laura DePuy’s hauntingly drab color scheme. It is an exploration of a world we all wished existed-A world where the Justice League and Godzilla once walked the earth (Albeit, as twisted alternatives to the characters we have grown accustomed to seeing time and time again).
Within the first 6 issues and despite the book’s done-in-one form, Ellis manages to create a world that is not only compelling, but feels surprisingly large. Planetary is like a blind man dipping his toes into the ocean. Behind the shadowy veil lies a history of vast proportions that we can only guess at. This implied size of Planetary’s universe is one of the best instances of world building in storytelling that I’ve ever seen.
I’m doing my best in this edition of Back Issues to avoid all spoilers. Even giving away the basic concept of the series takes away from the reading experience. Just know this: Alternative versions of loved pop culture figures, especially those of Marvel and DC comics, play prominent roles within the pages of Planetary. I still remember the awestruck paralysis that came over me as I realized, half way through a debriefing on the series’ villain’s backstory, who this evil force was, really. It was fantastic.
The first issue of Planetary is free on Comixology, and I am begging you to read it. Give this first issue a try, and if you find yourself hooked, I assure you, what waits is simply beyond imagination.
Spoilers? Spoilers? Spoilers? Spoilers? Spoilers?
I suppose I can’t very well ask you to read Planetary without some inkling as to what its about, so I leave you with the author’s original proposal for the series:
“What if you had a hundred years of superhero history just slowly leaking out into this young and modern superhero world of the Wildstorm Universe? What if you could take everything old and make it new again?”