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Absolute Planetary Book Two Hardcover – July 20, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: Absolute Planetary
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: WildStorm; Box Slp edition (July 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401227015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401227012
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 1.7 x 15.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,572,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When Planetary first launched sometime in 1999, it was a little like the less boisterous and far more cerebral younger sister of the other paradigm shifting Ellis book, (for the time,) the Authority. Basically a story about superpowered "archeologists" of the strange, Planetary is a clever literary vehicle that is at once highly original and somewhat borrowed: it's a literary (and therefore fictional device) for looking into the popular fiction of the last century. Or, it's using fiction to "investigate" fiction (the concepts, characters, tropes and worlds we know). And it's bloody brilliant.

This second volume advances the ongoing conflict between our three main protagonists, (Jakita Wagner, the sexy, super-powered muscle of the group; "Drums," a machine empath who's a little like an idiot savant; and Elijah Snow, a century old heat-extractionist/subtractionist, believed to be a sentient version of the planet's white blood cells,) and a group of shadowy, incredibly dangerous and sadistic people, known only as "the Four," (a sly and deliberately not too well hidden allegory of Marvel's Fantastic Four.) Elijah, like others born in the year 1900, is believed to be a "spirit of the 20th century," - people who were born into the world at the very beginning of the last century to protect and keep the world alive and safe into the next.

The stories here significantly ratchet up the tension and mystery surrounding the enigmatic Four and the Planetary organization. At the end of the last volume, Elijah discovers that he is indeed, the "Fourth Man," of Planetary, in fact the grandfather figure behind the Planetary corporation, which has been archiving strange and weird information about the world for many years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm of the opinion that Planetary is Warren Ellis' finest comic book project. Ellis is a fascinating writer, but his work tends to go a little heavy on the cynicism and techno babble. Even in its darkest moments, Planetary is always celebrating the joy of exploring the unknown and encountering strange new sights. The material in this second hardcover is a bit more plot-focused than in the first and at least as captivating. This is incredible stuff. John Cassaday's art is much improved overall. Cassaday was still finding his style in the early issues of the series, so this volume is more a showcase for the artist as we know him today. There are few storytellers in the industry as talented as Cassaday.

The art alone makes this Absolute Edition worth a purchase. When you have pages as cinematic and detailed as Cassaday's and colors as lush as Laura Martin's, you want the best presentation format possible.

That said, it's a shame DC didn't try harder to include more supplemental material. There's a brief cover gallery, a glimpse of the art designs for the action figures, and a couple other pages of random material. No notes or scripts from Ellis. No concept art or black and white pages from Cassaday. No interviews. Compared to the copious amount of extras in books like Absolute Sandman, this is just pitiful. Sadly, it's pretty much par for the course with DC's more recent Absolutes.

But again, the primary purpose of these hardcovers is to showcase the story in the best format possible. In that regard this volume is a success. If you're on the fence about buying it, you might as well make the leap now before you lose the opportunity. The first volume is already out of print again and back up to ridiculously high prices on the secondary market. This one looks like it's following suit. The standard-size hardcovers aren't that cheap either. So unless you want to read the series in boring old paperback format, this is the version you want.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book contains the second "half" of Warren Ellis' Planetary saga. The stories contained within the absolute volume 2 are terrific. Ellis does a good job of fleshing out the Planetary/Wildstorm universe, as well as answering questions fans have been clamoring for over the series 10 year run. I won't go into the details about the story, but I found the conclusion to be wholly satisfying. While initially not crazy about John Cassadays's art, he really comes into his own about 1/4 into the series, and fully hits his stride by the time we get to this book.

As far as the quality of this edition goes, I have some mixed feelings. The binding and overall production on the book are of high quality. However, the slipcase seems to have been assembled poorly, and is a little taller than the book, leaving a 1/2 cm gap. The reproduction of the art is of very high quality, and shows the attention to detail in Cassaday's work. The paper is fairly thick, and glossy, meeting the typically high absolute standard.

One thing not up to standard is the complete lack of work or care put into the extras section. A color coded guide to all the characters that appear on the final issues wraparound cover, a gallery of 3 DC direct action figures, and a single page art spread of the snowflake universe,which comes to a whopping total of 6 pages. They also list introductions from the trade paperbacks as extras, but I've never heard an intro listed as a bullet point before.... Honestly DC seems to have really cut back on their absolute editions. The extras aren't even worth mentioning in their last several releases. Part of the enjoyment of the Absolute edition is that you have the definitive edition, with all the essays, production material, early sketches, script pages, and advertising content. The absolutes used to be like the collectors edition dvd with all the extras, now its just a larger version of the hardbacks.
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