Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth

    (DC, 2003)
ô and © DC Comics, Inc.

Bookshelf format has become a much-maligned one, because it hasnít been reserved for what it was initially intended for: lovely little one-shot like this one. Itís a polished Planetary adventure that neatly sums up the characters and concepts for those who came in late while also justifying Batmanís existenceóat least to Warren Ellisí satisfaction.

Though the means for them to cross over with Batman may seem a tad too pat, it does give readers the heady, hilarious parade of variant Batmen concluding with an original: the Warren Ellis Batman. Anyone used to Ellisí usual high level of contempt for super-heroes will be shocked to find Planetary treats Batman with kid gloves, except for Jakita, who tries to punch a hole through his chest (though itís clear sheís smitten with him).

There are all sorts of neat moments here, from a blink-and-youíll-miss-it guest spot by The Joker or The Drummer doing something profoundly weird for the first time in a long time. Let us hope Night on Earth really does signal the return of Planetary on a regular basis; it leaves the reader hungry for more.

ó S.A. Bennett

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 Warren EllisJohn Cassaday

#1 Hardcover

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Deluxe Hardcover; ca. 2011Warren EllisJohn Cassaday