I never got into Planetary while it was running, despite my admiration for both Warren Ellis and John Cassaday. I remember buying the first trade when I started investigating Warren Ellis's work (I was just getting into Vertigo, and I had enjoyed The Authority). For some reason Planetary didn't grab me, but Transmetropolitan did, and I later sold the trade. So now that the series is finally done, I thought I'd give it another go. I've got all four trades, and plan to read one a week, starting next week. Is anyone interested in reading along, or have read it recently enough that you'd enjoy discussing it?

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I would definitely follow along on a discussion, but I don't know how much input I would have. I don't want to commit to re-reading it, and then never doing so.

I have all of the issues, including the Batman, JLA, and Authority crossovers. I will make it my goal to at the very least discuss, and at the very most, re-read and discuss with you.

I loved Planetary when it began, but fell off the train somewhere between the gang slowing down the output and a couple of years I had to give up buying new comics.

 

I'd love to read alonga this.  I always wnated to finish it, but will have to try to put together the books.  The library only has 'crossing worlds', and I have vol 2 somewhere and will have to acquitre the rest wherever I can.  In the middle of all that, I'm going on a long trip to Ireland shortly and that'd disrupt things too.

 

So is it 4 regular volumes + the 'Crossing Worlds' collection of Crossovers? 5 vols in total?

Yes, that's right. But Crossing Worlds is out of print right now, so I wasn't planning to read it. I suppose I could try for an interlibrary loan copy, just to be complete. Naturally the whole idea of those crossovers makes me a bit reluctant to start with!

Assuming I can get my hands on a copy of Crossing Worlds, where in the sequence should it be read? I'm assuming that it's probably out of the main Planetary continuity, but it's just a guess. Some of you have read those stories: what would you recommend? Here's what one Planetary site lists:

Planetary Preview: Nuclear Spring

1: All Over The World

2: Island

3: Dead Gunfighters

4: Strange Harbours

5: The Good Doctor

6: It's a Strange World

7: To Be in England, in the Summertime

8: The Day the Earth Turned Slower

9: Planet Fiction

10: Magic and Loss

Planetary/Authority: Ruling the World

11: Cold World

12: Memory Cloud

13: Century

14: Zero Point

15: Creation Songs

Planetary/JLA: Terra Occulta

Planetary/The Batman: Night on Earth

16: Hark

17: Opak-Re

18: The Gun Club

19: Mystery in Space

20: Rendezvous

21: Death Machine Telemetry/ The Consultation

22: The Torture of William Leather

23: Percussion

24: Systems

25: In from the Cold

26: Untitled

27: Untitled (series epilogue)

From what I've read on the internet just today, the crossovers all 'count' even though they are kind of set in alternative worlds and different publishing arms. 

 

I thought at the time that the Planetary people lived on the same Earth as the Authority, but it looks now like that isn't the case.  Good thing too.

I recently got into Planetary in the form of the trade collections, and really enjoyed them. I’ve read them all and have them at my fingertips. I’ll follow along and comment when I have something to add.

I also thought originally that Planetary was same Earth as Authority, but no.  Planetary itself has to be one of the best written and drawn stories in a long time.  Re-visiting the pulp heroes for one thing was a great idea and done in a much better way than some other pulp revivals.  The first time we meet Snow in that weird diner hooked me and Jakita Wagner, well, what can you say?  Plus an evil F.F.

I bought vol 1 yesterday for maybe twice the price that I'd have got it from Book Depository just to get into it quickly. I also dug out vol 2 which still has the price tag of 6.99 euro when I got it in Dublin. That was a good deal! I'll order vols 3 & 4 and have them sent to Ireland so I'll pick them up when I get there.

Just read the first 2 vols of Whedon-Cassiday's X-Men, and the art there is wonderful, so all the more keen to start reading Planetary. I enjoyed it in my first readthrough of half of it in mothly format, but it didn't really hang together as a complete story in my head, so it'll be good to experience it as a comics-novel, complete with that long-delayed ending.

Glad to see so much interest. I'm going to start on Vol. 1 tomorrow, but it's the only one I brought with me to the beach this week. So you should have plenty of time  to receive Vol. 3-4, Figs. I did place an interlibrary loan request for Crossing Worlds  on Wednesday. So with any luck I'll have it by the time I start Vol. 2, and can insert those stories into the reading order as the list up above suggests.

Preview & Chapter 1: "All Over the World"


The Preview story ("Nuclear Spring") is an eight-page story that ran in two Wildstorm titles just before the series launch. It was the first published story, but is clearly not the first one in the series chronology, because it involves the entire Planetary team, which was not assembled until the first issue. It gives a good sense of the flavor of the series. Like most issues in the series, it depicts one Planetary investigation. The whole case is contained in one issue, just a bit shorter than a full series issue.

Issue 1 ( "All Over the World") begins with the recruitment of Elijah Stone to the Planetary team. Snow is the third man needed to complete the team. Naturally he asks what became of the previous third man, but Jakita Wagner dodges the question. She mentions the fourth man, who bankrolls the operation, but says nothing more about him. Snow meets The Drummer--they immediately exchange insults, establishing their relationship--and the team is off to the Adirondacks to investigate a secret underground facility. There they meet Doc Brass, a hero who has kept himself alive and awake since 1945, guarding a portal to the Multiverse. That's the first issue. I think it can safely be said that this is not decompressed storytelling. 

Chapter 2: "Island"


The second issue finds the team on an island near Japan, a place populated by giant monsters. No one knows how they got there, just that they appeared shortly after the Hiroshima atomic explosion. By the time Planetary arrives a group from a Japanese cult has discovered the remains. When they are confronted by a small contingent of Japanese military guards they release nerve gas, killing both groups. The Planetary team is unharmed, because Snow reveals a previously unknown talent for heat subtraction. Just when it looks like the end of the story, a live flying dinosaur appears overhead.

In the first two issues the Planetary team has begun to show why they are named for the entire planet, as well as just how strange the secret history of the twentieth century may turn out to be. Each issue has taken them to a different part of the world, and both investigations have spanned from the present back to decades earlier in the century.

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