DOUBLE FISTED REVIEW: PLANETARY
Planetary is evolutionary. Planetary is cyclical. Planetary is like having sex with a Higgs Boson particle. Planetary is like carving E=MC2 into fresh snow with a laser wristwatch. Planetary is science. Planetary is culture. Planetary is left field, alternative future space, mainstream pop. Planetary is fucking brilliant!
If you think about the seminal Warren Ellis series ‘Planetary’ as a hairdryer this might make more sense. When I first turned the hairdryer on (opened Planetary) I felt a cold rush of air hit the back of my head and slowly traverse my scalp as it maneuvered through my follicles, gently kissed my moles and spread across the entirety of my dome as a raw egg like bacteria made from one simple blast of ambient air. This was thrilling enough but then as the coils of chrome wire heated due to their high electric resistivity (I read more of Planetary) I felt the curious sensation of increased activity in my epicranial aponeurosis layer of skin causing my brain to fire excitedly as the warm gusts of air (new Planetary issues) insulated my grey matter like a wooly hat but without actually wearing a hat. As the hair drying continued I realised that not only was my head warm (I’d enjoyed myself) but also that the experience had accelerated and controlled the formation of temporary hydrogen bonds inside each strand of my hair (I’d learnt stuff too) and I could now style my hair in any number of ways (my entire worldview had changed). I switched the hairdryer off and left my house with a wonderful head of hair (I was generally thrilled after reading Planetary) and knew that everytime I used that hairdryer I could find something different to do with my hair (subsequent reads are more rewarding than before).
Did that make sense? I hope it did because it took me a lot of attempts to get it right and I’ve actually burnt my scalp now after playing with a hairdryer all morning! It’s worth it though, Planetary is the best comic book series I’ve read, ever. Bold statement I know but it is. It’s as enjoyable as ‘Transmetropolitan’, more meta than Kurt Vonnegut, as exciting as ‘Y:The Last Man’, with richer characters than ‘Watchmen’ and more culture references, homages and sci-fi action than ‘The Invisibles’ & Tarantino put together. In short it’s nothing less than genius. I don’t want to talk about plot-lines, characters or anything that happens because it’s like those Indie films that you need to watch with literally no prior knowledge of it so you leave the cinema with a face like Moses after seeing the burning bush, literally godsmacked. I think it’s the perineum (gooch) of comics, it’s not something you’ve thought about before and it’s mixed in with all the other analogy comics and superhero fiction so you think it’s just part of your undercarriage but when you find it and begin to understand it… WOW!
I know this might not be the most in-depth review and more of a plea for people to read this incredible series but think of it like ‘Fight Club’ or ‘Breaking Bad’ when someone hadn’t seen it, you just say I can’t say anything until you’ve seen it and you just give a brief overview and keep repeating “Oh my goodness you must watch it!”. It’s about some kick ass archaeologists (that’s right superhero archaeologists!) who just happen to have some of the coolest superpowers in modern comics and it’s drawn exquisitely so that every panel on every page is like a frame from a portmanteau film directed by Jack Kirby, Alfred Hitchcock, Akira Kurosawa, Stanley Kubrick, Terry Gilliam & Guillermo Del Toro. “Oh my fuckness you MUST read it!”. If you like comics then I think I’ve made my point, if you haven’t read all 4 glorious issues of this book already then go the fuck out and buy it. If you have read it then I’m sure you’ll agree with me (if not I want to hear your invalid opinion in the comments below) that all in all…
Planetary is just really rather good.