Paperback 96 pages (March 25, 2005)
Publisher: Titan Books
Warren Ellis is well and truly back at the forefront of comic writing. As well as the return of the wonderful Planetary, thanks to Titan we have this collection of a one off min-series from while back to enjoy.
It is alternate history time again, but you can forget all those Harry Turtledove novels, this is a different thing altogether. This time round, Britain gets its hands on Werner Vaun-Brown and the other german rocket scientists before America and Russia. Through dangerous engineering, pluckiness and rock solid upper lips gains it dominance of the skies in 20 years, landing men on the moon in 1956 and Mars by 1969. Inspiring stuff.
Despite this, the story plays second fiddle to Chris Weston’s pencils and Laura Martin’s colouring. The spaceship designs are a school boys’ dream, as are the wonderful Eagle-esque depictions of a technologically advanced London. The style is somewhere between Dan Dare and a NASA engineers’ wildest dreams. Awe-inspiring and delightful at the same time. The little touches, such as the Union Jacks on spaceships and Rover symbols on Moon buggies add to the fun. This is a book you can look at all day.
Sounding a bit whimsical and cheesy? The final panel makes it all worthwhile and very relevant, only then revealing the true cost of such technological change whilst also showing what else British society has accomplished in our real line over the past 50 years.