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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 336

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today we look at a cool moment from the first “season” of Planetary…

In Planetary #7 (by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday), the Planetary gang attend the funeral of John Carter (a stand-in for John Constantine), where Ellis gets to nicely wax poetic about the British heroes of the 1980s.

Then it turns out that Carter might NOT be dead, which displeases the stand-in for Marvelman, who is quite upset at what the 80s did to superheroes like himself…

So many good moments here, but I suppose “the” moment is either Marvelman’s pleading (that any number of other superheroes I am sure have thought over the years) that if you don’t want to write superhero stories, then don’t – just leave us alone!

That or John Carter “moving on” to become Spider Jerusalem.

One of those two. What do you folks think?


Much better than I was expecting. I need to check this series out, and not just for the artwork. Ellis provides good POVs for both sides, I think.

“I didn’t know Hitler even had personal sex midgets”..

Cracks me up every time.

I always think of him, not as Marvelman, but as Dan the Dyna-Mite after James Robinson got through with him.

He reminded me of Fight-Man

I’ve read this before, but I wasn’t sure who the super-hero stand in was here. Not having read Marvelman, now I know why I didn’t get the reference (I know, I know, I have to remedy that situation quickly).

And the John Constantine stand-in turning into Spider Jerusalem . . . well, whatever you think of it, you have to admit that’s heady stuff!

Tom Fitzpatrick

December 3, 2009 at 7:28 am

Outside of this particular favorite issue of Planetary would be the “John Woo” issue about a dead cop gunning down Yakuzis in getting justice over his death.

That was also a cool moment issue.

Turning into Spider Jerusalem was the moment of this issue.

“Be seeing you” is a downright reference to The Prisoner series (old and new).

I love how everytime I read this I think of John Carter being Spider Jerusalem in the future in Transmet then I go read one word balloon of Spider and it’s just so not John Carter in any way, haha. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s not what I think this story means but somehow, the idea of Spider Jerusalem being a journalistic version of John Constantine in the future an interesting one (not good, not bad, interesting).

What do you supposed he meant to convey by this? John Carter, or Constantine if you will, “dies” and becomes Spider Jerusalem walks off and for some reason as he walks away you get a sense that he will return. Is Ellis trying to say that after the 80s came the end of a certain type of super-hero book and was also the arrival of Constantine type stories? Is he saying that after that we will see more politically charged socio commentary books like his own Transmet? Where superheros and magic is all but non exsisting and only science and all the debauchery of man exist and mix together?


got go with the marvel man stands in speech about if somone did not want him leave him and comic characters alone that and the look on Jacista face when he pops up alive

This is actually my least-liked issue in an otherwise excellent series. It felt almost dated when it first came out, and re-reading the whole series recently, it stood out as a sour note of self-pleasuring on Ellis’s part.

I’m imagining the plot synopsis: You’re reading a company-owned comic, and a sister company of the corporation that just bought this published used to only publish company-owned books that were reworkings of children’s comics, but now mostly does creator-owned stuff, except for that one book with the magician that they still publish that I wrote in the middle of my run on the series that the dude becomes when he shoots that other dude, which really screws up this weak-ass metaphor. In 10 years some guy on the internet will make fun of it.

Put this in the “top 10 most self-indulgent” list that someone needs to make.

I really need to go back and re-read “Planetary” start to finish. I’d completely forgotten this bit. I’d give the Carter-becomes-Spider moment the edge over the super-hero rant.

Funnily enough, I had an idea for a Constantine-Miracleman story back when a friend was doing a cross-universe-fiction fanzine in the early ’90s. Constantine, perceiving that Miracleman’s new golden age of miracles wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, would have conned his way into an audience with MM and taken him down by changing him back to Mike Moran with the override word. That’s as far as I got at the time.

This isn’t my least-favourite issue by any stretch of the imagination (Elijah deciding to torture William Leather didn’t sit well with me), but it did feel a little over the top. Granting that pastiche is part of Planetary’s charms, this felt like an author being too close to what he was attempting to make comment on. I absolutely adored the Vertigo references, the Constantine/Carter mini-story that should make Denise Mina go home and cry her eyes out, and I was even ok with the Carter-becomes-Spider bit, probably because if you squint, you can imagine it as Carter-becomes-King Mob, and that seems about right.

But the editorial rant from Mister Fancy Tights? Sometimes actors don’t describe their own voice well enough and you can’t get past the fact that it’s the actor saying the lines, as opposed to the character.

Theres a not-so-recent fan movie on the net called “ultimate eye for the vertigo guy”, where they try to turn John Constantine into a “modern” guy ( and he looks exactly like that version of Constantine we see there )
At one point, one of the guys says “haven’t we seen it in Planetary ?” (or something like that … )

The dialogue on this is interesting. I never found much to criticize here, but I’ve always been a huge Ellis fan and a huge fan of Spider Jerusalem in particular. I tend to be very non-critical with folks I like (probably to a fault), but looking at it here I can see how some of the complaints by some of the commentors have merit. Ellis probably did get up on his soap box here – to the detriment of his story and his art suffers for it. To me, there’s more than enough redeeming qualities about Ellis and Planetary in particular to keep me being a fan, but this has opened my eyes a little bit.

Thanks fellow posters. The comics-eduation of plebian Ed continues . . . (maybe I’ll try that out as my new handle).

I always read Carter not as Spider, but as Grant Morrison.

You know, this clip reminds me: the year is almost over, and there has yet to have a cool comicbook moment post from “Transmetropolitan”.

Just a little bit self-indulgent don’t you think? I liked it better when Steve Gerber did it.

For those interested in the video i mentioned :


It’s especially fun when you consider that Carter is, in this instance, not just standing in for John Constantine, but for his creator Alan Moore as well, who was the guy who made all those changes to Marvelman.

I always read Carter not as Spider, but as Grant Morrison.

Well, yeah the way Cassiday draws him he looks like Grant Morrison dressed as Spider Jerusalem, so there might be somethinG to it.

And yeah, Ultimate for the Vertigo Guy is great

Didn’t think of it until night, but John Carter is also a SF hero from back in the pulp era. An Edgar Rice Buroughs (Tarzan) creation. Basically a cowboy who went to Mars, married a beautiful martian princess and wet his sword in the service of intergalactic emperors and all that. I wonder if Warren Ellis meant anything more with that reference or if it was just convenient to use the name since its public domain now. Anybody know?

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