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Planetary VOL 01: All Over the World and Other Stories Paperback – March 1, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Planetary Series

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$12.28 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 9 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Layers of mystery wrap Planetary: All over the World like rice candy. Follow the enigmatic heroes Jakita Wagner, Elijah Snow, and the Drummer as they excavate the secret history of the world from its wealth of bizarre happenings. Though the characterization isn't sparklingly brilliant--the "insane" Drummer behaves more like the A-Team's Murdock than a believable madman--the stories are both broad and deep, exploring a web of conspiracies and shadowy superheroes that manipulate and "protect" our world. Clever retellings of primal comics myths are interlaced with X-Files-esque secret government tales, and they drive the reader back and forth to collate evidence; the characters can't do all the work. Illustrator John Cassaday mirrors Warren Ellis's script from circumspect to sublime, befitting the best successor yet to the pulp comics of the 1940s. --Rob Lightner

About the Author

Warren Ellis is one of the most prolific, read, and admired graphic novelists in the world and the creator of "Transmetropolitan" and "The Authority". He lives in southern England with his partner, Niki, and their daughter, Lilith. He never sleeps.

John Cassaday began his professional career with Negative Burn. It wasn t until he showed his portfolio to Mark Waid at San Diego Comic Con that he began receiving job offers from Dark Horse, DC, and Marvel. He eventually collaborated with Joss Whedon on "Astonishing X-Men" which led to more work and even directing an episode of Whedon s television show, "Dollhouse." Most recently he helped relaunch the successful "Star Wars" comic franchise alongside Jason Aaron for Marvel Comics.
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Product Details

  • Series: Planetary (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: WildStorm Productions; Volume 1 One edition (2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563896486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563896484
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What makes All Over the World so cool? Warren Ellis is at the top of his game here, with dazzling ideas, deft characterization, and great dialogue all working together. Planetary is the story of the secret history of the twentieth century - or at least, the twentieth century as reflected in our fiction. Elijah Snow, Jakita Wagner and the Drummer are the field team for the mysterious and extremely wealthy organization called Planetary; they are mystery archaeologists, travelling, well, all over the world to find the hidden wonders in Japanese monster islands, long buried alien spaceships, and the hidden lair of thirties pulp heroes. So what we have is a roaring adventure story that doubles as a commentary on the twentieth century's adventure fiction.
What's important is that Planetary works on both levels. Each chapter of All Over the World seems like a stand alone story, full of wild action and carried by the interplay between Jakita, Drummer, and Elijah. The character interaction and inventive plots would be enough to carry the book, but through each chapter a deeper mystery - largely built around the identity and history of Elijah Snow, but also around the true nature of Planetary and its adversaries - gradually unfolds, and the book ends on a great little cliffhanger that had me eagerly anticipating new chapters.
At the same time, Planetary is Ellis' chance to play with a lot of archetypes. Planetary's main adversaries are clear analogues of Marvel's Fantastic Four; Snow's hatred of them, and the reasons for it, should inspire readers to take another look at the assumptions that allow superhero universes to function. Planetary is a thrill to read, but it's a very intelligent thrill that proves that action stories don't need to check their brains at the door.
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Format: Paperback
Continuing the trend of revisionist tales based on comic book company universes that was begun with Alan Moore's Miracleman and the Watchmen, and Frank Miller's Batman: Dark Knight Returns; Warren Ellis and John Cassaday's Planetary gives the trend an interesting X-File-ish spin. While I enjoy the series and recommend it to any long-time comic book fan, I have to say that, like Mark Waid and Alex Ross' Kingdom Come, you really have to have been reading comics for some time to get the most out of the book. How many people would know that the ghost of the police officer damned to act as a spirit of vengence in Planetary #3 is both a homage to John Woo's Hong Kong action films as well as a update of DC Comic's Spectre? I must say Ellis recasting the Fantastic Four in such a sinister light is really refreshing. Includes the very hard to find Planetary preview/revisionist view of Marvel Comic's the Hulk which appeared in Gen13 #33. People who enjoy this series should also check out Ellis and Bryan Hitch's excellent work on The Authority #1-12, (oft referred to as the JLA or Avengers, "finally done right")the first eight issues of which will soon be reprinted in The Authority: Relentless trade paperback.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not one to easily over-praise something I like. I mostly look at the things I enjoy as critical as possible to come to as much of an honest opinion as possible, so that my words really mean something instead of turning into a bold statement which helps nobody. With this title however I can do nothing else but expres how much I enjoy it. It's as close to "historical fiction" as a mainstream 'superhero'-title is ever going to be and it's done well. And the term "superhero-title" isn't exactly right either because it isn't a superhero title, but the main characters ARE supernatural.
About the story: Elijah Snow, a mysterious man who was born on January 1st of the year 1900 encounters a woman called Jakita Wagner (who is accompagnied by another man called 'the Drummer') and she invites him to be part of a supernatural archaeologist group called 'Planetary'. She invites him to be the third member of their field-team who's goal it is to unravel the 'secret history of the world'. They try to map events in history how they REALLY took place, not how the common public was told it all happened. Elijah gets offered a salary of one million dollars a year for the rest of his life and all other professional expenses will also be taken care off by an anonymous financial aid only known as 'the fourth man', a man nobody knows. Elijah accepts and goes on his way to see things common man has never known was there.
The great thing bout this title is that each detail, as little as it looks at first, turns into a mystery of his own in time. Each story in each issue seems to be a self-contained story at first, but later on turns out to be just a piece of the puzzle in the 'grand scheme of things'. There's very little going on that's useless information.
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Warren Ellis and John Cassaday's "Planetary" does not seem a decade-and-a-half old. Ellis is at the top game here, including references to the history of comics, allusions to modernist literature, critiques of history, and subtle digs at the history of comic books while jumping both locations and genre-conceits. It's meta-fictive without breaking the fourth wall entirely. Ellis walks into the grounds of Morrison but does so without the flash and heavy-handed intrusion that Morrison often relies on. Indeed, in many ways, Ellis seems to be playing into the sandbox of archetypes that Morrison, Gaiman, and Moore almost made cliche, but Ellis's take is more grounded and feels more fresh. Ellis is also more consistent in world-building than any of the other comic authors mentioned by Alan Moore.

Ellis's characters are archetypes and sometimes feel a bit empty, but the deepen throughout the comic. Ellis, however, does not let his archetypes remain static archetypes nor does he completely hallow-out his dialogue. This is greatly aided by John Cassady's character design, consistent art, and use of blending genre-styles in the art to match the meta-fictive elements. Ellis is also interesting in that this is not purely a "concept comic" nor a super-hero comic, but somehow straddles that line in ways even the "high concept super-hero" writers don't.
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