The Archive


Planetary:  The story of superhero archeologists beating the shit out of the Fantastic Four while romping through comic history.

Superhero archeologists are probably a rough pitch to sell to a comic company even with the loose reigns of Wildstorm in mind. I'm sure it helped that Warren Ellis just had The Authority and Transmetropolitan under his belt, so I'm sure the higher ups said, “Fuck, it. It's crazy, but you're crazy enough to make it work.” So armed with John Cassaday's breakthrough art and Laura Depuy's (Martin) coloring, Ellis set to work on Planetary. It has since become one of the most interesting, beautiful, and awesome works to this day all while managing to add a certain amount of mysticism to comic history.


Alex Brass and crew are the only ones able to stop a warped version of the JLA from murdering the people of Earth to make way for their doomed world.

Planetary tells the story of Elijah Snow who can seemingly control the cold being recruited by the amazonian Jakita Wagner into the Planetary Foundation. With the Drummer who can communicate and manipulate machines, they set out to uncover the “secret history” of the world which is sprinkled with superhero threads throughout the century. While they pull these threads, the Four (a warped version of the Fantastic Four) looms in the shadows wanting some secrets to stay hidden. Elijah is also struggling with not only the Four's history, but that of Planetary's enigmatic fourth man.

Meet the Four who were as much assholes before their transformation as they are now.

Planetary told an amazing story but also managed to make the comic lore fresh again. Ellis wasn't afraid to mix references from DC or Marvel either. We see in a preview version of the team investigating a Hulk creature being subdued and kept in a mile deep tunnel only to die of starvation many years later. We take a trip to Japan to see the island where giant movie monsters were once alive and free. We see an alien child sent from its doomed world to earth only to be killed by a member of the Four. The world we see from Planetary's creative team doesn't take for granted the influences of previous incarnations of the superhero mythos. Even if cape comics aren't your thing, you'll be hard press to find anything nearly as fascinating as the world that Ellis, Cassaday, and Depuy create.