So a bunch of people told me to read Warren Ellis’ Planetary (vols 1-3), which I did. They were decent enough, with an interesting mishmash of milieus and a twisty plot. On the downside, Ellis pulled the same thing Grant Morrison did with The New X-Men: Skip over connective tissue, so you force people to make assumptions, then later reveal that their assumptions were wrong. It’s effective if you don’t notice it, but feels cheap if you do. Anyway, though, decent stuff, but not world-shakingly awesome.
World-shakingly awesome is, however, the phrase I might use to describe Warren Ellis’ Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E., vol. 1: This Is What They Want . Although perhaps “incredibly hilarious” would be a better phrase. Like Planetary, this comic features a team of superheroes confronting a random assortment of weirdness; or as the summary box from the first issue puts it, “Nextwave is a superhero comic about five people who have just minutes to prevent a town from being eaten by a giant lizard monster in purple underpants.”
The writing in Nextwave is superb, with perfect comic flair. I don’t laugh out loud very often, but I did a bunch of times while reading this. About the only criticism I have is that Marvel bleeped out all the swear words, which steps on more than a few lines. Stupid kid-friendly Marvel.
Upshot is, read Planetary if you want, but read Nextwave if you’ve ever enjoyed anything of Warren Ellis’, or have a sense of humor.