- Planetary (comics)
caption=The members of Planetary; from back to front, The Drummer, Jakita Wagner, Elijah Snow.
Wildstorm/ DC Comics
creators=Warren Ellis and John Cassaday
"Planetary" is an American
comic bookseries created by Warren Ellis(writer) and John Cassaday(artist), published by the Wildstormimprint of DC Comics. Planetary also refers to the group portrayed in the series.
"Planetary" was previewed in the September 1998 issues of "
Gen¹³" (#33) and "C-23" (#6), and issue #1 was cover-dated April 1999. It was originally intended to be a 24-issue bi-monthly series. However due to illness of Mr. Ellis and other commitments by Mr. Cassaday, the series was put on hiatus between 2001 and 2003; it has since restarted and will conclude with issue #27.
Mr. Ellis confirmed, on his 'Bad Signal' mailing list, that Mr. Cassaday would finish the final issue in early 2008. As of late September of 2008, Mr. Ellis stated that the issue was about halfway finished.
Laura Martinhas colored almost every issue of the series.
Planetary is an
organizationbilling themselves as "Archaeologists of the Impossible", tracking down the world's secret history. Funded by the mysterious Fourth Man, who it is said could be anyone from Bill Gatesto Adolf Hitler, the field team consists of three superhumans: Jakita Wagner, who is strong, fast and nearly invulnerable; The Drummer, who can detect and manipulate nearby information streams, most commonly used to manipulate computers and other electronics; the new recruit Elijah Snow, who can extract heat from nearby substances at will, freezing them; and the former third man Ambrose Chase, who has a "selective physics-distortion field".
The series is set in the Wildstorm Universe, along with other titles such as "Stormwatch", "
The Authority", " DV8" and " Gen¹³". Snow was born on January 1, 1900, as was Jenny Sparksof the Authority, and the two know each other. "Planetary" rarely crosses over with other Wildstorm series, although references are made to characters in other series, such as Henry Bendix from "Stormwatch".
Planetary's field team travels the world investigating strange phenomena:
monsters and other beings, unusual relics, other superhumans, and powerful secrets which certain individuals are trying to keep hidden from the rest of the world. Their purpose in doing this is partly curiosity, and partly to use what they learn for the betterment of mankind. There are, however, groups who oppose their goals, and the organization has a substantial history which is gradually revealed during the series.
Mr. Ellis, the creator and writer, has always intended the focus of the book to be the genre of superhero comics, rather than the superheroes themselves. "I wanted to do something that actually went deeper into the sub-genre, exposed its roots and showed its branches."cite web| url =http://www.popimage.com/industrial/103100ellisprofileinterview1.html | title =PROFILE: Warren Ellis Interview (part one)| accessdate =2006-11-10 | author =Christopher Butcher| date =2000-10-31 |format =html | publisher =popimage.com ] One of the series' main hooks is that it portrays alternate versions of many well-known (and obscure) figures from
popular culture. At various times we are shown versions, and in some instances multiple versions of major company characters such as John Constantine[Comic book reference | Writer =Warren Ellis | Artist =John Cassady | Story =To Be In England in the Summertime | Title =Planetary | Issue =7 | date = January 2000 | Publisher = DC Comics] , Superman, Captain Marvel [Comic book reference | Writer =Warren Ellis | Artist =John Cassady | Story =Strange Harbours | Title =Planetary | Issue =4 | date = July 1999 | Publisher = DC Comics] , Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Nick Fury, the Justice League, the Fantastic Four[Critics have noted that Ellis based the villains of the series on the Fantastic Four. They were first introduced in issue five. Comic book reference | Writer =Warren Ellis | Artist =John Cassady | Story =The Good Doctor | Title =Planetary | Issue =5 | date = September 1999 | Publisher = DC Comics] , and the Hulk. Mr. Ellis has also reached beyond the genre, noting it is "about the superhero sub-genre, and its antecedents", and as such has also created pastichecharacters based upon Godzilla, Sherlock Holmes[Comic book reference | Writer =Warren Ellis | Artist =John Cassaday | Story =Century | Title =Planetary | Issue =13 | date = February 2001 | Publisher = DC Comics] , and Doc Savage[Comic book reference | Writer =Warren Ellis | Artist =John Cassaday | Story =The Good Doctor | Title =Planetary | Issue =5 | date = September 1999 | Publisher = DC Comics] . Ellis also references the modern League of Extraordinary Gentlemen [Comic book reference | Writer =Warren Ellis | Artist =John Cassaday | Story =Century | Title =Planetary | Issue =13 | date = February 2001 | Publisher = DC Comics] , Japanese monster movies [In issue 2, the Planetary group visit Island Zero, which is based on Monster Island, where various giant monsters lived in the later Godzillamovies. (Comic book reference | Writer =Warren Ellis | Artist =John Cassaday | Story =Island | Title =Planetary | Issue =2 | date = May 1999 | Publisher = DC Comics)] , 1950s horror/science fiction movies [Comic book reference | Writer =Warren Ellis | Artist =John Cassaday | Story =Cold World | Title =Planetary | Issue =11 | Date = 2000 | Publisher = DC Comics] , Hong Kong action movies [Comic book reference | Writer =Warren Ellis | Artist =John Cassaday | Story =Dead Gunfighters | Title =Planetary | Issue =3 | date = June 1999 | Publisher = DC Comics] and more. This provides a rich backdrop for the ongoing story, and is similar to Philip José Farmer's Wold Newton family.
Typically, the public domain characters such as Holmes appear as themselves, while those still under copyright appear in altered but recognizably similar form. Thus, in some regards "Planetary" is similar to
Alan Moore's " The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen".
The idea of the series is to create a concise world in which
archetypes of superheroes, pulp fiction heroes, science fictionheroes, and characters from just about every possible mass mediaformat, live in one large universe while the Planetary team investigates them and ties together the ends. As Warren Ellis wrote in his proposal for the comic series: " [W] hat 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?" [cite web| url =http://www.warrenellis.com/planetary_proposal.htm | title =Planetary Proposal | accessdate =2006-11-10 | last =Ellis | first =Warren | authorlink =Warren Ellis | coauthors = | date =written November 1997, posted to web in 2000 | format =html | work =warrenellis.com | archiveurl =http://web.archive.org/web/20000711001623/http://www.warrenellis.com/planetary_proposal.htm | archivedate =2000-07-11 ]
The comic relies heavily on John Cassaday's distinctive art nouveau artwork, featuring a variety of styles of covers (with no consistent
logoor layout) and interior art, often paying homageto the respective sources from which each issue's characters and concepts are drawn. Rich Kreiner has described Mr. Cassaday's artwork in " The Comics Journal" as being "close to the gold standard for fabulous realism in mainstream comics" [cite journal | last =Kreiner | first =Rich | year =2004 | month =February | title =Firing Line:Planetary/Batman | journal =The Comics Journal | volume =1 | issue =258 | pages =50–51 | id =ISSN|0194-7869] , and Cassaday's ability to interpret Ellis' scripts adds to the book's appeal, his command of the visual language helping drive the narrative.Fact|date=September 2007 The book is colored by Laura Martin, Tom Underhill noting her contribution as "every bit as compelling" as Cassaday's in his review for " The Comics Journal" [cite journal | last =Underhill | first =Tom | year =2006 | month =February | title =Warren, Just Admit It | journal =The Comics Journal | volume =1 | issue =274 | pages =62–64 | id =ISSN|0194-7869] . The mysteries Mr. Ellis sets up are what ultimately drive the book, as the characters' relationships, their histories, and the identity of the Fourth Man [Comic book reference | Writer =Warren Ellis | Artist =John Cassaday | Story =Memory Cloud | Title =Planetary | Issue =12 | date = January 2001 | Publisher = DC Comics] are gradually revealed.
Mr. Ellis has also drawn on scientific sources for inspiration within the series to add an aspect of verisimilitude to his revisions of classic superheroes. He introduced the concept of a Multiverse to the shared universe in which the characters appear, drawing upon the mathematical concept known as the
Monster groupfor inspiration [cite web| url =http://warren-ellis.livejournal.com/2678.html | title = [Mar. 27th, 2005|02:56 am] | accessdate =2006-11-10 | author =Warren Ellis | authorlink =Warren Ellis | date =2005-03-27 | format =html | work =Warren Ellis' Live Journal ] . Hark describes the multiverse as "a theoretical snowflake existing in 196,833 dimensional space." [Comic book reference | Writer =Warren Ellis | Artist =John Cassaday | Title =Planetary | Issue =2 | Date = April, 1999 | Publisher = DC Comics ] , a reference to the visualization method used by some mathematicians when describing the Monster group [Mathematicians have described the concept as best visualized as a highly symmetrical shape, a snowflakefor example, existing in 196,883-dimensional space. Each symmetry of the group would correspond to a rotation of the object in this space, and the number of possible rotations is approximately equal to the number of atoms in the earth. This fact is also referred to by Hark in issue one.]
Gen¹³" #33 and " C-23" #6 (preview - same story included in each issue)
*"Planetary" #1-27 (issue #27 is due sometime in 2008 and the script is finished and delivered according to Warren Ellis's blog [ [http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=4459 PLANETARY #27] , Warren Ellis' blog entry] )
*"Planetary/The Authority: Ruling the World": Standalone story featuring the two Wildstorm teams in a plot tangentially related to an element in the first issue of "Planetary". Includes references to the stories of
H. P. Lovecraft, and features Lovecraft himself as a character (in a very unflattering portrayal as a vehement racist.) Art by Phil Jimenez
*"": Standalone story featuring alternate renditions of
Batmanin what is otherwise a straightforward "Planetary" tale. This story features various versions and interpretations of Batman spanning the character's history, ranging from Bob Kane's original, to a version based on Adam West's portrayal in the 1960s TV series, to Frank Miller's Dark Knight. Art by John Cassaday
Elseworldsstory featuring an alternate version of the JLA - Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman - facing an alternate incarnation of Planetary that acts in much the same way the Four do in the regular Planetary series. Completely detached from the main "Planetary" storyline. Art by Jerry Ordway
*"All Over the World and Other Stories" (collects preview & #1-6; hardcover and softcover ISBN 1-56389-648-6)
*"The Fourth Man" (collects #7-12; hardcover and softcover ISBN 1-56389-764-4)
*"Leaving the Twentieth Century" (collects #13-18; hardcover ISBN 1-4012-0293-4 and softcover ISBN 1-4012-0294-2)
*"Planetary: Crossing Worlds" (collects the three crossover one-shots above; softcover only ISBN 1-4012-0279-9)
*"Absolute Planetary" (collects preview & #1-12, also script to #1; Slipcased hardcover ISBN 1-4012-0327-2)
* [http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/p/planetry.htm Planetary] at the International Heroes Catalogue
* [http://home.earthlink.net/~rkkman/frames/index.html Planetary Comic Appreciation Page]
* [http://spacelandpark.com/index.cfm?spaceland=home.tags&t=planetary "Planetary" covers gallery]
* [http://world.std.com/~mikecap/planetary/timeline.html The Planetary Timeline - Events in Warren Ellis and John Cassaday's PLANETARY]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Planetary — means relating to a planet or planets. It can also refer to:* Planetary (comics), a DC comic book series by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday * Planetary habitability, the measure of an astronomical body s potential to develop and sustain life *… … Wikipedia
Planetary — Organisme de fiction apparaissant dans Planetary Membre(s) Composition actuelle Elijah Sn … Wikipédia en Français
Planetary — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Planetary es una serie limitada de comics escrita en su totalidad por el guionista británico Warren Ellis e ilustrada de igual manera por John Cassaday. Publicada por la editorial Wildstorm narra las aventuras de un… … Wikipedia Español
Planetary — ist eine US amerikanische Comic Maxiserie von Comicautor Warren Ellis und Comiczeichner John Cassaday aus dem Wildstorm Verlag. Planetary ist von Autor Warren Ellis fest ins Wildstorm Universum eingebunden worden. Da die Serie auch vielfach in… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Planetary romance — is a type of science fantasy story in which the bulk of the action consists of adventures on one or more exotic alien planets, characterized by distinctive physical and cultural backgrounds. Some planetary romances take place against the… … Wikipedia
Planetary/JLA: Terra Occulta — is an Elseworlds one shot comic book written by Warren Ellis, with art by Jerry Ordway (as opposed to the usual Planetary artist John Cassaday).The story is set in a slightly different variation of the Wildstorm Universe, as outlined in Planetary … Wikipedia
List of Planetary characters — Planetary is an American comic book limited series created by writer Warren Ellis and artist John Cassaday published by the Wildstorm imprint of DC Comics. Describing themselves as Archaeologists of the Impossible , Planetary is an organization… … Wikipedia
Stars and planetary systems in fiction — The planetary systems of stars other than the Sun and the Solar System are a staple element in much science fiction. Contents 1 Overview 1.1 The brightest stars … Wikipedia
Eagle Award (comics) — The Eagle Award is a series of awards for comic book titles and creators. They are awarded by UK fan voting for work produced during the previous year. Named after the UK s Eagle comic, the awards were set up by Mike Conroy, Nick Landau, Colin… … Wikipedia
DC Comics Absolute Edition — The Absolute Sandman Volume 1. DC Comics Absolute Edition is a series of archival quality printings of graphic novels published by DC Comics and its imprints WildStorm Productions and Vertigo. Each is presented in a hardcover, dustjacketed and… … Wikipedia