Graphic Novel/Comics Review

Planetary: Crossing Worlds

(2004) Warren Ellis, Titan Books, 10.99, trdpbk, 144pp, ISBN 1-840-23854-2

Crossing Worlds, perhaps unsurprisingly, reprints three 'cross-over' tales of the Planetary organisation: with The Authority (another Ellis/Wildstorm book) in "Ruling the World"; with the Justice League of America (sort of) in "Terra Occulta"; and with the Batman (or perhaps Batmen) in "Night on Earth". In the first story The Authority battles an invasive Lovecraftian creature, but only the covert Planetary trio know where the creature comes from: The Bleed ('where baby universes are born') where the Authority have their HQ. A portal was opened by a writer (a not even thinly-disguised HP Lovecraft) and Planetary must invade the Authority's HQ for answers without giving themselves away... "Terra Occulta" features an alternate Planetary who rule an alternate Earth through the suppression and exploitation of superheroes and alien technologies. Three friends, Bruce Wayne, Clark Kent and Diana Prince uncover the plot and storm the Planetary citadel. And "Night on Earth" follows the apprehension of a reality-distorting man by Planetary and the problems they run into when they encounter several incarnations of the Batman (including Bob Kane's, Jim Aparo's, the sixties TV version, and Frank Miller's 'Dark Knight', among others). All good fannish stuff. Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning provide art for the Authority story; Jerry Ordway does a brilliant job on the JLA tale; and John Cassaday is excellent drawing the Batman/men in the final piece. Like most (if not all) cross-over stories, there is no consequences arising from these meetings but, then, you don't really expect there to be. So, fluff, but very entertaining fluff. Worth a look.

Tony Chester

Other of Warren Ellis' work reviewed on this site include: Stormwatch: Final Orbit, Transmetropolitan: Spider's Thrash, Transmetropolitan: Year of the Bastard.

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