Planetary: Crossing Worlds

planetary crossing worlds cover trade paperback tpb review
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Batman story

Authority story is a letdown

Comic Info

Comic Name:   Planetary/The Authority:  Ruling the World/Planetary/JLA:  Terra Occulta/Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth

Publisher:   DC Comics/Wildstorm

Writer:   Warren Ellis

Artist:   Phil Jimenez/Jerry Ordway/John Cassaday

# of Issues:  3

Release Date:   2004

planetary jla terra occulta #1 cover review

Planetary/JLA: Terra Occulta #1

Reprints Planetary/The Authority:  Ruling the World #1, Planetary/JLA:  Terra Occulta #1, and Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth #1 (August 2000-August 2003).  Elijah Snow, the Drummer, and Jakita Wagner are no strangers to the dark side of the world, but they are about to experience different types of adventures all together.  In one reality, they come together with their opposite in the world ruling Authority when a threat from the Snowflake could mean doom for Earth.  In another reality, Planetary becomes the villain and the only hope could be Clark Kent, Diana Prince, and Bruce Wayne.  In a final reality, an attempt to capture an escaped criminal puts the Planetary team face to face with Batman!  Planetary is known for the unusual, but they aren’t ready for how strange it will be.

Written by Warren Ellis, Planetary:  Cross Worlds is a collection of three one-shots that spanned three years.  The DC/Wildstorm releases included Planetary/The Authority:  Ruling the World #1 (August 2000) with art by Phil Jimenez, Planetary/JLA:  Terra Occulta #1 (November 2002) with art by Jerry Ordway, and Planetary/Batman:  Night on Earth (August 2003) with art by John Cassaday.

Planetary was a really fun comic.  It and The Authority spawned about the same time so it was always assumed that the one-hundred-year-old Snow and the one-hundred-year-old Jenny Sparks would cross paths.  Here you get that adventure, but it is another story that surpasses it.

In fact, The Authority issue of this volume is probably the weakest.  It feels pretty in context with both The Authority and Planetary, but that is possibly why it is the least interesting.  Jimenez art is solid, but not explosive and the story sometimes falls into techno garble while it unfolds.  The actual meeting between Sparks and Snow doesn’t really occur so it kind of feels like a bit of a letdown.

planetary batman night on earth #1 cover

Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth #1

The second story is more of an Elseworlds style of story.  In the JLA world presented in Terra Occulta, the Planetary is evil and the non-superhero version of the JLA form to take them down.  It unfolds almost as expected but there are some fun moments (like Clark Kent unceremoniously being shunted into space and his death).  It is a bit more creative than the Authority storyline and almost flips that issue by having Planetary taking over the role of the Authority.

The final entry is the strongest entry in the book.  In a story that fits well into the Planetary storyline, the team goes to their version of Gotham.  Through a person who can merge universes (and Snow’s admission that Crisis on Infinite Earths did happen in 1986), Batman is brought face-to-face with the Authority.  That is rather generic, but what Ellis does is have Batman shunted through different forms of the character including the ’66 Batman, the Dark Knight, the early ’80s Batman, and the original Batman…each with their own persona.  The clever story is accompanied by great art by Cassaday.

Planetary:  Crossing Worlds is an imperfect collection, but it is a fun collection.  The stories are all over the place, but it is a must for fans of Planetary (and probably Batman for that matter).  It is a different storytelling that predates a lot of the nostalgia wave that encompassed a lot of the 2000s.  Planetary was a real finite series that had a beginning and end and it is always nice to get addendums to the series.

Related Links:

Planetary 1:  All Over the World and Other Stories

Planetary 4:  Spacetime Archaeology

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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