Planetary Binging

When it comes to comics, I’m a omnibus guy. While I imprinted on the standard comic book format as a kid and I miss it, I lack patience and and I lack time. I want to consume the whole story arc in a couple of sittings, there is no sitting and waiting a month for the next comic, I need closure. (As an aside, this content binging strategy is also my current move for TV shows – two seasons of Game of Thrones in two days – no joke.)

At somewhere between $50 and $100 dollars, an omnibus is an investment. I need to have pretty good signal that the entire series is compelling. Astonishing X-Men? Amazing. Possibly the finest piece of capes and tights fiction out there. Avengers vs. X-Men. Meh. Artwork starts off bizarrely bad – story improves over time.

I’m 1/3rd of the way through the Planetary Omnibus (tip of the hat to @pberry for the birthday gift of the first few issues) and I’m still deliciously wondering what the hell is going on. This is Warren Ellis’s masterpiece and like Alan Moore’s Watchmen before him, the universe he’s created is an homage to comic books.

Planetary is the tale of a group of super powered archeologists. The three main characters are wandering around, chasing a complex and unfolding set of mysteries, but the question the remains (and remember, I’m on chapter 10 and I’m certain this question will be answered shortly) is “What universe are we in?”

Planetary is set in the WildStorm (a division of DC shutdown in September 2010) universe, but at my current location of the story, Ellis is gleefully teasing readers with hints of crossovers between the WildStorm and DC universe. Chapter 10 of Planetary goes as far as to introduce characters so closely approximating Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman, the reader (me) is left asking, “Where the hell am I?”

These moments are rare – being lost in an all consuming story. I turn the pages slower because I’m dreading the reveal.. the end. That is a worthy investment.