You may be thinking “Oh, look; another crossover where the good guys fight, figure it out and save the day.” I wouldn’t blame you. I had anticipated the same when I sat down to read this 2003 one-shot from DC Comics and Wildstorm Productions. Boy, was I wrong as this was definitely not your cookie-cutter team-up tale. Far from it.
While almost anyone reading comics has read Batman (or, at the very least, is familiar with the Caped Crusader), the same can’t be said for Planetary. With that, I can confidently state that my lack of exposure to the Planetary series and its characters didn’t hamper my reading experience at all. I’d actually argue that this is primarily a Batman-centric story; even though various members of Planetary get more “screen time” than Bats himself.
Which brings me to the creators. Warren Ellis is, well, Warren Ellis. If you don’t know what that means, you haven’t read much of his work. But if you have? You’re nodding along with me right now. Indefinable, he almost always seems to approach a story from a completely different angle than most of us can even conceive, and that’s part of what makes him a fan favorite.
His handling of Batman here is both exciting and (seemingly) an open love letter to the character. There’s barely a beginning or end to this original graphic novel, and frankly, it doesn’t need it.
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We have a decent load this week, from the conclusion to the exceptional Planetary to quite a number of Marvel books worth your time. Planetary #27 is the conclusion to Warren Ellis and John Cassaday’s brilliant series. Combining pop culture commentary, with a twisted spin that Ellis is known for and the direction of Astonishing X-Men artist John Cassaday. There was a preview in the back of Ex Machina #45, which had me excited for this issue.
From Marvel, there is a ton of good stuff. First, we have the premiere of Phil Jimenez on Astonishing X-Men alongside Warren Ellis. Its weird, you know? We have a Planetary/Astonishing X-Men crossover this week and I am looking forward to that ten fold.
Now I’m a giant Rick Remender fan, and this premieres his new ongoing series at Marvel, Doctor Voodoo with Billy Tan. If you like this I strongly recommend Rick’s series Fear Agent and The End League from Dark Horse. Following that we have Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #3. The first two issues were spectacular, and David Lafuente was born to draw Spider-Man. This is easily one of the best reads in comics.
Finally, we have the return of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips Criminal with “The Sinners.” As always, we here at The Flickcast care about what you read, so leave us a comment and let us know what you liked/didn’t like from this week’s comics. For a more complete list of what comes out this week, check out the one at Midtown Comics.
Because we want to keep things fresh, we’ve decided to bring you an edition of The Pull List by guest reviewer Dave Press today. Keep it here tomorrow for another guest reviewer! –Ed
EX MACHINA #45
My favorite series of the last couple of years is beginning to wind down and I’m getting quite sad about it. This issue picks up where we left off with New York City Mayor Mitchell Hundred discussing the effects of the previous arc and how Village Voice reporter Suzanne Padilla may be on to the White Box.
Our Mayor who can talk and control machines created The White Box around his election night. Padilla was convinced that it helped elect Hundred as Mayor. What happened was the White Box went off and implanted itself in Padilla’s brain, in a similar manner that the device that gave Hundred his powers.
Ex Machina is essentially The West Wing mixed in with some super heroics and tracks a retired super hero during his first and only term as New York City mayor. With five issues left, Padilla possessed by the White Box, she is slowly picking off members of Hundred’s cabinet. Who knows what she has planned or for that matter Vaughan.
The question we have now is what will Vaughan be doing after Ex Machina concludes? He’s left the writer’s room for Lost and his spec script, Roundtable, is a modern day re-imagining of the Arthur legend. To say the least his life as a writer is expanding and if he has any time for comics now post-Ex Machina I’ll be quite pleased.
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