Special Edition Podcast

Booksplode #32 – Planetary: Book Two

Show Notes

Thanks to our awesome Patrons, we’re proud to present another Booksplode!

What’s a Booksplode? It’s a bi-monthly special edition show in which we take a look at a single graphic novel or collected edition, something we really just don’t have time to do on the regular show.

This month, Josh Flanagan and Conor Kilpatrick take a look at Planetary: Book Two by Warren Ellis, John Cassaday, Jerry Ordway, Laura Martin, David Baron, Richard Starkings, Wes Abbott, Michael Heisler, & Bill O’Neill!

Running Time: 00:31:00

Music:
“Dirty World”
The Traveling Wilburys

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Comments

  1. I had never read Planetary, so when you announced you were doing Book Two I figured I really needed to check it out. Boy am I glad I did! I loved these books! I think they are ones I will probably go back and read every now and then.

    Also, am I the only one who thinks that Elijah Snow might have been modeled on Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices? Just a thought.

  2. Great episode, guys, as usual.

    I’m actually fairly ambivalent about Planetary and much of Warren Ellis’ work. While Transmet remains one of my all-time favourite series and I have a particular soft spot for Nextwave, just about everything else he’s done doesn’t ever hit me in the way that I think it’s supposed to. He’s clearly a very talented writer and I wouldn’t say I don’t enjoy stuff like Planetary and The Authority but there’s a cynicism and smugness to most of even his best work that always keeps me from fully investing in his comics.

    It’s funny, therefore, that you guys mention that there is a heart and optimism to his comics. Not because I don’t agree with you at all but because I sort of do but that doesn’t change my general feeling about his work. I can definitely see spots of humanity in stuff like the Authority or Planetary but they just never seem to break through that layer of cool, snarky indifference. Transmet is a major exception to this as that humanity comes through very loud and clear almost right from the off but especially once he started doing once-off issues of Spider covering ordinary and often quite broken people, which really highlighted Spider Jerusalem’s underlying broken idealism.

    I really wish this wasn’t the case because everything else about Planetary is pretty damn exceptional – though, yeah, Cassaday is definitely better in the first half of the series than the latter parts – but the lack of emotional connection stops it from going down as one of my absolute faves.

  3. Loved listening to this, it has made me want to go back and re-read this. I re-read it when the final issue came out as I knew there was no way I would remember the details of what was going on but don’t think I have read it since.

    Remember when DC did that “What next, after Watchmen?” thing? Well I always thought Planetary was an obvious option there, or just as something to give to a newcomer to comics. I know some of the references would go over their head but it doesn’t matter. There is so much creativity on display here.

    Cassaday may waver on the later issues but overall his work is amazing. However I do think that Declan Shalvey has become the artist that I think perfectly suits Ellis’ work for me. I don’t know if you guys are reading Injection but I think it’s hugely impressive and one of the best things I have read from Ellis. I just hope it actually gets finished as it’s been a while since the last arc ended

  4. According to Warren Ellis in his newsletter, Injection will have two more story arcs to complete the series. Declan Shalvey in his newsletter released earlier this week, stated that he has the completed script for Injection #16 in his hands and he is drawing it now.

    It looks like the series will return and conclude in 2020.

    I agree with your assessment of Injection. I bought the individual issues and then turned around and bought the Image Deluxe edition which collects the entire series so far. I love big concept science fiction and Injection delivers that in spades. The deluxe edition is a beautiful oversized hardcover. It is worth the money if you like the series.

    • Thanks! So happy to hear Shalvey is working on this again. I was thinking there must be 2 more volumes as each volume seems to focus on one of the 5 characters.

      I heard (or read) somebody describe Injection as feeling like a distillation of all of Ellis’ favourite themes into one book and I think that’s accurate. It does feel like there’s a bit of every aspect of his work in it.

      I also remember a while back Shalvey did a bit of a Q+A on twitter and somebody asked him “do you have a favourite genre to read or write?” and he replied “Crime. Sci-fi. Mix em both and make it a superhero book”. So basically, yeah Injection seems like a bit of a dream job for him!

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