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Giffen and Dematteis' Planetary Brigade [Paperback]

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Item description for Giffen and Dematteis' Planetary Brigade by Keith Giffen, J. M. Dematteis & Various ...

The Planetary Brigade is a group of heroes fronted by Squared's Captain Valor and Grim Knight. Meet Mr. Brilliant - Earth has never met a smarter, or more smug, hero. Earth Goddess - by day, she's a sweet, unassuming wallflower, but when the Earth needs her, she turns into a gargantuan guardian of the plane. Purring Pussycat - sweet, sexy... what's she hiding? The Third Eye - spiritual mystic. The Mauve Visitor - strange visitor from another world, or cute little Smurf-like dude? Together, they're in a league all their own!

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Item Specifications...

Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 6.25" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 4, 2007
Publisher   BOOM! Studios
ISBN  1934506109  
ISBN13  9781934506103  
UPC  894340001342  

Availability  0 units.

More About Keith Giffen, J. M. Dematteis & Various

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Summit, NJ resident KEITH GIFFEN has 30 years experience in the business writing LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES and JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL, as well as creating fan-favorite characters like Lobo, Trencher, and Ambush Bug.

Lafayette, LA resident KODY CHAMBERLAIN illustrated ?30 Days Of Night: Bloodsucker Tales' for IDW. The ?30 Days Of Night' film hit theaters in the fall of 2007.

Chee lives and works in Malaysia. His first American comic book work was an adaptation of George A. Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD with Steve Niles of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT fame.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > General
2Books > Subjects > Comics & Graphic Novels > Graphic Novels > Superheroes
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Comic
4Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Giffen and Dematteis' Planetary Brigade?

"...But we shall call him -- the Celestial Speed-Skater!"  Mar 25, 2008
Plot SPOILERS now.

So this is what's up: Before Captain Valor was exiled to a parallel dimension - in which that dimension's version of him is a slacker without super powers (as told in Hero Squared Vol. 1) - he was the leader of the superhero team, the Planetary Brigade. Knowing that this is a Giffen & DeMatteis production, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that the team numbers a bananaboatload of quirky characters. As mentioned, Captain Valor, noble and idealistic and just a wee bit pompous, is the man in charge. The rest on the roll call includes a 17-year-old mystic with a third eye (her code name is Third Eye), a nasty purple extraterrestrial who loathes humanity but adores martinis, a woman who is the living embodiment of the planet Earth, a brooding vigilante who wields the sword Excalibur (which he nicknames "Calib"), a sexy feline woman, and a bow & arrow guy who likes to break into song. Headquartered in the Hermitage (a citadel hidden somewhere beneath the polar ice caps), the Planetary Brigade go about the business of saving humanity. But when no danger imperils the world, they tend to stand around and bicker with each other.

This trade paperback collects the Brigade's adventures as originally told in the two-part Planetary Brigade mini-series and in the three-part Planetary Brigade: Origins mini-series. The two-parter centers on the Brigade having to somehow shut down an interdimensional portal, which is being used by hordes of demons to cross over into "our" reality. But the portal turns out to be an innocent man, and so the Brigade is left with having a very hard choice to make.

Quick gripe about the artwork in this two-parter: I'm not sure who made the decision to platoon several artists here, but it's a sloppy move. Eight artists covering two issues is not a good recipe. Although Joe Abraham and Cynthia Martin are very good with their clean lines, I couldn't quite get with the styles of the other illustrators, most notably Mark Badger, whose minimal renderings clash uncomfortably with everyone else's.

The first issue of the three-part Planetary Brigade: Origins touches on the formation of the team, rather than on the individual origins of the Brigade, and also introduces the supervillain Mister Master and his rabid prairie dogs, as well as the immortal super-soldier, Fighting Man, who insists that he's the embodiment of the American fighting spirit. Mister Master returns in the second issue, now with his own villain team, the Planetary Brigands. There's also a surprising revelation about one member of the Brigade. Issue #3 introduces the all-important Lord Caliginous, who would end up destroying the world (again, see HERO SQUARED).

Segue back to the artwork: This time around, other than the 5 pages of "P.B. Animated," which is illustrated by Mike Cavallaro, Julie Bax provides the entire artwork for Planetary Brigade: Origins. And she's pretty good.


So them dudes get back on the humor train. In these pages Giffen and DeMatteis don't stray too far from that which made them a creative team to be reckoned with, namely, the Justice League (see Justice League International: Volume 1). You don't need an epiphany club to clobber you on the skull to realize that the members of the Planetary Brigade are not-so-subtle analogs of the Justice League. Even the cover of the first issue of the PLANETARY BRIGADE mini-series (reprinted as the cover of this trade) echoes Kevin Maguire's cover of Giffen and DeMatteis's inaugural Justice League issue. The difference, of course, is that, here, Giffen and DeMatteis have created their own superhero team and, this time around, are unencumbered by DC editors peeping over their shoulders. But the silly banter is back, and the ridiculous situations, and the spoofing of superhero conventions (the Celestial Speed-Skater? Really?).

Unlike the excellent HERO SQUARED, I wasn't feelin' this one. The fact that the Brigade is such a new creation, that might be why their adventures don't resonate as well as did the Justice League stories. The JLA owns a rich history which is so ripe for mockery. The Justice Leaguers also have well-established individual traits which could be ridiculed for big laughs. In Giffen & DeMatteis's hands, the majestic Martian Manhunter became addicted to Oreo cookies, Captain Marvel became a big red square, and the ever brash Guy Gardner hit his head and had a personality makeover. With the Brigade, the creators say they're this and they're that, and we take it all in. But so what? And the fact that they're so obviously meant to be caricatures of already existing characters, that makes them seem less real. Not to mention, I couldn't help but feel that a measure of pathos and character development were sacrificed so that even more time could be indulged in goofy superhero shtick.

PLANETARY BRIGADE barely tries to be serious. Oh, there are moments where something deeper seem to be going on (as with the Third Eye character and the Purring Pussycat's flashback origin). But, more often than not, the triviality of the not-really-that-funny dialogue derails whatever sincerity there is in the stories. The main culprit is the Mauve Visitor, whose snideness is just excruciating. I guess it also comes down to whether you dig these characters. In my eyes, Giffen & DeMatteis didn't do enough to make me care for these capes.

On the other hand, HERO SQUARED, partly because it's set in our world, comes off as having more depth and texture. It helps that Captain Valor's grander-than-life sensibilities are juxtaposed against the slacker Milo's very skeptical, more grounded worldview. So, I say, definitely check out HERO SQUARED. But with PLANETARY BRIGADE, the most positive I can get is that I guess it won't hurt to take a peep. After all, the Happy Hunter (the bow & arrow guy) is good for some laughs.

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