Planetary #23

Reviewer: Tim Stevens
Story Title: Percussion

Written by: Warren Ellis
Art by: John Cassaday
Colored by: Laura Martin
Lettered by: Richard Starkings
Editor: Scott Dunbier
Publisher: Wildstorm Comics

Finally, an issue of Planetary. Even better, it’s an issue of Planetary that I enjoyed on first reading. (And the second and third subsequent ones as well).

You know it. I know it. The comic community knows it. But, I still need to say it. Cassaday does excellent work. Brilliant really. From the movie poster-esque cover to the dazzling rescue of the Drummer (“Worst. Rescue. Ever.”) to something as mundance as two people sitting in an outside café talking, Cassaday delivers on it all. I don’t know if he’s the best artist working in comics, but I always feel like he is after I read an issue of Planetary.

I’ve liked the Drummer since I first met him in the pages of Planetary 12 years ago (get it?! It takes a long time for Planetary to come out), but he has always been a bit one dimensional. He’s a tech head of the most gifted and most annoying kind, an overcaffeinated know-it-all who can’t helping letting you know about it. In just 23 pages, by simply giving us a glance at his childhood and letting us know his theory about Snow’s purpose (as all “century babies” seem to have one), Ellis shows us that there is more to him than that. He’s the same guy he always was, but we finally have a glimpse of where he came from and what all that knowledge leads him to think about.

If the theory the Drummer comes up with is right, I like it. I personally think that Snow’s purpose as a “century baby” is the acquisition of knowledge, but Drummer’s idea is much cooler and a much more viable story device. Thus, I think I’ll throw my support behind his. (However, if mine turns out true, I told you so).