Planetary was a comic that I had absolutely no prior knowledge of before reading it. I think that ultimately, this was a good thing because I really had no preconceived notions or opinions or thoughts on the storyline or plot or characters or anything. Before this comic, I knew of the character or storyline in one way or another. With Planetary, I was going in completely blind. With every other comic book, you sort of know what you’re getting into, to some degree. Everyone (probably) knows who Superman is, I had heard of Ms. Marvel before, and I think everyone who follows the Marvel movies knows who Black Panther is. So I had an established view of each of those characters before reading those comics. With Planetary, like I said, I knew nothing. And this felt very refreshing.
I think right off the bat, I really appreciated how different everything felt from traditional superhero comics. Primarily, the artwork felt more, I don’t know, cinematic, compared to the other comics we read. Just really gorgeous artwork and frames and a lot of close-ups that I felt we haven’t seen in the previous comic books we read. I felt like this could have easily been adapted into a film with this comic’s style and its artwork.
I do agree with a lot of my classmates, however, that this was a slow-burn. Right at the start, we’re not given really any context and the reader is just thrown into this new world. We aren’t given much information up front, and we sort of have to just go along with what they say and what they do. There’s no stopping for exposition, the audience isn’t spoon-fed all the information. And I really loved that. Everything felt earned.
I think what really sold this comic was the characters. They were three dimensional and compelling, and the reason you want to keep reading is because of the characters. I especially liked Elijah Snow, and the debate on whether he’s a hero or an anti-hero could probably go on forever, but I liked that he couldn’t necessarily fit into the stereotypes of both a hero or an anti-hero, and he’s sort of a mixture of both. These are the characters that I find the most interesting. Another example of this type of character in comics would be The Punisher. He thinks that what he’s doing is morally right, but isn’t something that society thinks is morally right, and it is a grey area, and I think his character is comparable to Elijah Snow, in that he’s doing what he thinks is right, and he’s seeking justice by his own moral standards.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this comic and I really enjoyed reading it. It was a change of pace from other traditional comic books, and I really enjoyed that.