Planetary is the story of a secret organization funded by a mysterious benefactor with a remit to discover the world’s secret history. The team consists of three super humans including “Jakita Wagner” (strong, fast and full of attitude), “The Drummer” (Super IT guy) and Elijah Snow (Controls temperatures and does a good job of being reluctant new man on the squad). Volume 1 has 6 short stories where the team investigate strange paranormal and scientific phenomena. A back story thread runs through all six chapters where the Planetary universe and characters are slowly revealed.
- Archaeologists of the Impossible
- Dead Gunfighters
- Strange Harbors
- The Good Doctor
- It’s A Strange World
Planetary is a complicated book with some pretty deep concepts and story lines. I did not find it to be an easy read and I found the main characters to be pretty superfluous to the intricate plots. Of all the characters in the book, I found “The Drummer” to be the most throwaway and annoying. One of the problems I have with super hero books is that often the invulnerability of the characters leaves them lacking in any kind of humanity and as such it’s pretty difficult to empathize with them.
I liked the premise of the book that existing legends, folklore and secret military history would be investigated and although I found it difficult to spot what stories they were trying to retell (perhaps my lack of superhero universe knowledge) I enjoyed reading them.
John Cassaday’s art was crisp and clean in terms of presentation and this was absolutely essential for such complicated stories. The art worked well and I was particularly impressed with how it captured the action and established a consistent feel despite the different subject matter in each story.
Planetary should appeal to fans of Superheroes and the X-files and has some good artwork too. Neither the story or the characters hooked my enough to want to read further planetary volumes but I still enjoyed reading this one. [ISBN-13: 978-1563896484]. 6/10