05 October 2009

The End of the Millennium Arrives on Wednesday

You may recall that Planetary was to have been finished around the same time as the 20th century. It appears that time has finally come.

This Wednesday sees the arrival in stores of Planetary #27, the final issue of the sometimes-celebrated series by Warren Ellis, John Cassaday and Laura Martin. In a post on his LiveJournal, Ellis reflected on the end of the series, saying "It’s a book I associate with bad times: protracted illnesses, big arguments...my physical collapse and months in bed, and my dad’s long illness and eventual death. All of these things are intertwined with PLANETARY for me, and make it difficult to enjoy the moment."

Of course, any individual is likely to suffer some setbacks and tragedies in any given ten year span, but it did seem at times like this particular comic book was cursed -- a phenomenon that would have gone unnoticed if not for the fact that, at its best, it was one of the most exciting and beautiful adventure comics being published. Together with The Authority #1-12 with Bryan Hitch, Paul Neary and (again) Laura Martin, these two series represent a pretty high peak for Ellis's writing powers and excellent comic books that are always worth re-reading and losing one's self in.

But of course, it's been hard to judge the series as a whole as long as this one, last issue remained unpublished. I'll admit I'm pretty psyched to hear it's finally coming, and am hopeful that DC/Wildstorm will finish out the gorgeous series of hardcover collections and a second and final Absolute Edition so that those of us who have, shall we say, fully committed to the series, can reach closure as we arrange them all on our bookshelves and are able to re-read them over and over again whenever we want, bwah ha ha ha ha.

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