Anticipation is sky-high for ‘Planetary, ‘Futurama’Written by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
All good things come to those who wait; in the comics biz that can be especially true. Though the general rule of comics these days is late-shipping product and interminable gaps between issues, sometimes a series comes along that’s worth a few months wait or even a few years.
Take “Planetary,” for example: it’s a 27-issue bimonthly series from Wildstorm that took almost 10 years to complete instead of two. That kind of tardiness would’ve crushed a normal fanboy, but not The Game Room’s comic maestro Paul Shiple.
“‘Absolute Planetary v2,’ a lush 384-page oversized slipcased hardcover, concludes a story a decade in the making,” he said. “Planetary is a worldwide organization of archaeologists who search for the secret history of the 20th century. With this labor of love, writer Warren Ellis and artist John Cassaday have produced what is arguably the best series of the last decade.”
Now, this isn’t just any collection of comics that came out last week. Ellis, one of the true gonzo scribes of modern comics, along with Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, has created a universe to contain all the great fictional archetypes — not unlike Moore’s “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.” With his own versions of famous characters like Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes and Godzilla, he puts his team of super-operatives through their paces in what can only be described as multidimensional, multilayered, speculative science fiction pulp wish-fulfillment. Ellis has even taken heat from copyright holders for veering a bit too close to their owned characters — but he’s the one laughing in the end.
One can also sigh with relief over the release of “Futurama” No. 50, from Bongo Comics. “With the return of new ‘Futurama’ episodes on Comedy Central in the last month, longtime fans of the show have been rewarded for their six plus years of patience,” Shiple said. “Little did many of them know that during this drought, there have been new stories featuring their favorite characters all along. Bongo Comics is finally releasing this semi-centennial issue.”