Comicosity Book Club: #PlanetaryClub Week 4 Roundup

It’s been an awesome month for the Comicosity Book Club, which means it’s the bittersweet end of our reading of Ellis and Cassaday’s Planetary! Each week we’ve been discussing your favorite panels, pages, thoughts and extras from the #PlanetaryClub hashtag – make sure you don’t miss last week’s roundup (how dare you miss it!).

This week we have a roundup of volume 4, the final issues of the series (19-27 for those keeping track at home). Let’s get this going with some of our top tweets from the week!

Top Tweets

 

Extras!

Now that the series is wrapped up for the book club, I wanted to share both some thoughts from the time that the series actually ended as well as some good retrospective pieces. Let’s kick the extras off with some retro reviews of the final issue from the long ago year of 2009 (cue Christopher Nolan “WHOMMMMMMM”)!

27_full_cover-lrgFirst up, a 5-star review from Major Spoilers:

This issue is about family, about endings, and serves more as an epilogue to the previous issues than a climax to the story. Even the ending of the story isn’t really an ending, something that I think works well within the structure of Planetary as a whole, seeing as how it’s a comic book that’s actually partly about comic books (and we all know that comic stories never really end.)

Did everyone love this issue? Apparently not! Here is a mere four out of five review as part of Comics Bulletin’s “Sunday Slugfest” (keep in mind there are a few reviews here and they’re all great! Read them all):

I’m not sure what else to say. I can’t claim that it’s the perfect ending to this series as the time between issues has been so long and the expectations that have been raised have been so high that I think that’s impossible for the conclusion to be everything to everyone coming to this book. It’s not a work that transforms fiction in any way, but it’s very good.

CBR also had the nerve to give Planetary 27 a four out of five star review:

This final issue acts as an epilogue, part finale, part reunion show, one last piece of unfinished business, one last chance to see these characters interact, and for the fantastic team of Ellis, Cassaday, and Martin to collaborate. In some ways, it’s superfluous, just an issue for the fans, but what’s wrong with that?

DEC050323Moving away from retro reviews, it’s probably not surpising that Planetary is included in Comics Should Be Good!’s series, “Comics You Should Own.” Greg writes back in 2012:

Ellis has often written angry, cynical comics full of bastards, but he’s kind of an old softie at heart. Nowhere is this more evident than in Planetary, which is all about hope. Sure, it’s full of evil bastards, but there’s never a sense that they will triumph. What Ellis does with Planetary (he did this with The Authority, too, but not to the degree he does here) is make it obvious that the good guys will win, but there’s never a loss of tension within the narrative.  

Make sure to read the whole piece here.

PopMatters has their own take on the series as a whole, which was published around the end of the series in 2009. Kevin poignantly writes:

Planetary may be done forever now, but its beauty and singular dedication to the compassion and humanity of the individuality will live on in the hearts and minds of comic fans. And for those fans who think Warren Ellis to be a lunatic, a raging drunkard, a bitter old crank with no faith in mankind, well—all they have to do is read the conclusion, and they will know the truth. And the truth is this: that Warren Ellis, once thought of by many as comics’ resident Orson Welles, an angry, embittered artist, is actually the industry’s Kurt Vonnegut, sent here to make us feel as if “everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt.”

We’ll close the retrospective out with IGN’s “Why Planetary Rules the World” from 2010:

The series is filled with moments that make you smile and appreciate the utter weirdness of the world in which we live – a world whose weirdness our fiction often fails to truly emulate. What differentiates Planetary from so many other genre-bending pastiches is Ellis’ trademark flare for hard science fiction, which combines with the series’ heightened fantasy to create a world that’s undoubtedly surreal, but also somehow real.

As a little fun note, our favorite EiC Aaron said Planetary was his second favorite series in his own #TenTweetsThursday, which you should read and mock him for.

Thank you all for taking the time to read Planetary with us – it was truly a pleasure! Stay tuned for our next book club as well, which is Fatale by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Until next time… watch the skies!

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