DC Comics / Wildstorm
(w) Warren Ellis
(a) John Cassaday
FC, 32 pgs w/ ads $3.99 US / Higher in Canada
Why bother? That is the question that ran through my mind as I stared down at the copy of Planetary #27 Shane had placed on the counter in front of me.
Releasing a new issue three years after the previous issue (Planetary #26 shipped in October 2006) is absurd. If the story was unfinished I could understand the need for the creators and DC Comics to offer readers closure but issue #26 did conclude the story, and those 26 issues comprise a fantastic piece of comics storytelling. Elijah Snow, Jakita Wagner and Drummer had stopped The Four, and with the accumulated knowledge and technology of The Four were going to start making the world a better place. It is true Elijah said he had one piece of unfinished business, but I understood that to mean he was intent on finding and rescuing Ambrose Chase. I closed issue #26 knowing Elijah would eventually locate and rescue Ambrose. The details of how it would occur were not important.
Writer Warren Ellis gives us those details in issue #27. A time machine is involved. Ellis devotes considerable time to the “science” of time travel, its mechanics, limitations and pitfalls. I get it– I saw the movie Primer– but then Ellis dedicates far too much time on gobbley-gook to explain how the rescue mission is going to work. You see, Elijah and his team are not travelling into the past to save Ambrose. They are scrambling the spantoglaticus with super-charged light beams and protopleons to disrupt the protective time cocoon Ambrose spun around himself the moment he got shot.
Actually, I lie. I made that last part up, but Ellis’ description is equally dense with crazy words and technobabble. I got bored reading the words, and frankly, was unimpressed and unmoved by the whole of this issue. Reading it only reaffirmed the opinion I had when Shane put the issue in front of me. Issue #26 concluded the story, so why bother? (Chad Boudreau)