Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel

Planetary/Batman is a great, if weird, superhero story brought to you by the cranky English super-hero-hating comics wiz Warren Ellis and the glorious art is by David Cassaday.

I love Warren Ellis. Bad Warren Ellis stories are hard to find. This is not one.

This is a fantastic, fun story built around the idea of having Batman accidently warped into the Planetary universe by an out of control meta-human named John Black who has the ability to fold reality.

Well, the truth may actually be that this is a story built around putting Batman in a position where he can fight leather-clad femme fatale Jakita Wagner.

Warren doesn't let us down:
Is that a fold-out, sword-sized Batarang in your utility belt or you just happy to see me?

You'd think that this moment of fanboy frenzy would be the pinnacle but things just get better! Black's powers flare up and the sword-swinging Bats disappears only to be replaced by a very different but decidedly familiar Batman.

Forget bat-swords - this is how real men do business:
Holy Burgess Meredith Batman

That pesky Mr Black's reality folding powers also treat us to some Frank Millar Batman:

and even Bob Kane's original gun-toting Batman:

Warren doesn't skimp. Chances are your favorite Batman incarnation shows up in this story. Those that don't come packing Bat-Villian-Repellent may not fare so good but it's all in good fun.

John Cassaday apes the styles of the greats with ease and the tone changes as each Batman arrives on the scene. From the bright, campy technicolour of the Adam West Bats to the moody greys and browns of Frank Millar's Dark Knight. The switches might be jarring in a lesser artists hands but Cassaday makes it flow smooth and easy.

I loved this book and it turned me on to what a great series Planetary was.

My only complaint with this and, in fact, with all modern Batman books is:
Why Batman doesn't dance anymore?
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