Planetary 3: Leaving the 20th Century

planetary volume 3 leaving the 20th century cover trade paperback tpb
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Good looking and fun series


Comic Info

Comic Name: Planetary

Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm

Writer: Warren Ellis/John Cassaday

Artist: John Cassaday

# of Issues: 6

Release Date: 2004

planetary #14 cover

Planetary #14

Reprints Planetary #13-18 (February 2001-February 2004).  Snow is finished playing “nice”.  He’s regained his memories and now it is time to take the battle to the Four.  With the world renowned heroes not seen as enemies, Snow, Jacinta, and Drummer are going to have to get allies, and they’re going to need a plan.  The fate and the future of the world hang in the balance!

Written by Warren Ellis, Planetary Volume 3:  Leaving the 20th Century is a DC-Wildstorm comic book collection.  Following Planetary Volume 2:  The Fourth Man, the series features art by John Cassaday.  Issues in this collection were also collected as part of Planetary—Book 1 and Absolute Planetary.

Planetary was a great series.  The series played with the format of comics and dipped very intentionally into other genres and pop culture.  While much of the series feels like one-offs (especially before this volume), Planetary is building a web, and this entry finally feels like the plot is being revealed to all.

The last volume of Planetary had Elijah Snow discovers that his missing memories were created at his own hand and that he was the “ghost” that Planetary had been chasing all along.  Now, with full memories, the character is out for revenge.  The enemy is the Fantastic Four clone group simply called the Four and they represent what the Fantastic Four would be if they were amoral and corrupt…while still being celebrated by the world.

planetary #18 cover the gun club

Planetary #18

The volume has dives into the pulp Victorian-esque steampunk world, Asian protectors, Australian myth, Tarzan adventures, and the hidden history of space flight.  Ellis and Cassaday continue to provide interesting and different takes on the subject in a style that is comparable to something like Alan Moore, but feels complete unique to the authors.  Each issue of Planetary is a fun little present to unwrap and see what it is going to be.

Cassaday’s art is at its peak as well.  The visuals of Planetary allow for a lot of stylistic changes, but all of the art in general is solid and impressive.  I do think that Laura Martin also deserves some credit as the colorist for the series because with Cassaday’s style and her color palette for each issue, the visuals just pop and also help tell the story (or the themes of the story).

Planetary is a must read.  It is a series that I’ve read multiple times and that can’t be said about a lot of titles.  It feels a bit like lightning in a bottle, and I don’t think I’d ever want Planetary to return in any form because I don’t know that it could be recaptured in the same way…and writing styles and visuals have changed over the years.  Planetary 3:  Leaving the 20th Century is followed by the final volume Planetary 4:  Spacetime Archaeology.

Related Links:

Planetary 1:  All Over the World and Other Stories

Planetary 4:  Spacetime Archaeology

Planetary:  Crossing Worlds

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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