I’ve been trying to get back into comics. I used to love reading them in university, and these days I have limited brain space for long form books so comics are a great way to stay in the world of books with a bit less of a time commitment.
Planetary seems to be up there with the Watchmen for Peak Comics, so I picked up the first volume, knowing pretty much nothing. Maybe that was my mistake. Folks over on goodreads seem to be of the view that this story stands well on its own, but then seem to focus on the ways in which Planetary is a commentary on other superhero stories from the 90’s. Indeed, Planetary is supposed to be Ellis’ takedown of Marvel comics and the industry’s obsession with superheroes.
I got literally none of that from reading the book. What I got was a few disjointed stories about vaguely weird stuff happening, a threesome of your bog-standard Super Serious, Perfect Geniuses Who Can Do No Wrong superhero protagonists, and yet another tedious The World is Bad Because of an Evil Conspiracy Run By Four Dudes.
Two-dimentional villains whose aim is to Be Evil have always been boring to me, and my distaste for conspiracy theory stories has only deepened through the COVID years. And how American to create yet another a conspiracy theory that can be unearthed by a couple of randos (with generous financial backing of unknown origin) with more brawn than brains and solved at the tip of a gun.
There is a lot more to Planetary past volume 1, but I doubt I’ll reach for them.