Monday, May 17, 2010

Planetary #10

Though the cover isn't much to look at, Warren Ellis writes yet another interesting take on superheroes in Planetary #10. Ellis fleshes out his Wildstorm comics world of Planetary by presenting the idea that the Planatery universe is much like the DC universe and may in fact be nearly identical if not for a few chance moments in time that changed the course of an existence.

We are shown three different cases which are iconic and familiar to comic book readers. We see an alien couple on their dieing world place their only child on a spacecraft destined for anywhere. The shuttle happens to land on earth, but is not greeted by a farming couple; rather the alien child's escape from a dieing planet is is met with extreme prejudice. There is nothing worse than a long flight followed by a quick death.

Another tale we briefly witness includes a being chosen to protect life and the universe with powers granted him by a collective team. His powers reside in a lantern which resides in his chest. Unlike the DC classic character where stealing the source involves sliding off a ring, this characters powers are stripped through removing the lantern like Indiana Jones II style.

Our last glimpse of similar super stories that could have been is a very short scene where we see a strong woman from an island untouched by modern man set out on her journey to enter the modern world and share her peaceful ways with the rest of the planet. As soon as she leaves her hidden island a hidden evil swipes her life and her promise of a brighter tomorrow.

And that's the Planetary world in a nutshell. It could easily be protected by great heroes like many other worlds and universes are, but with just a few changes in history we end up in a place not quite certain of it's future. We are left with a time in which we can not rely on punches or might to protect us. We need knowledge of the unknown. We need to know more secrets than the bad guys. Knowledge is power in Planetary, and the comic of the day, Planetary #10 shows how evil could have evened the playing fields with just the right knowledge at the right times.

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