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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 353

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!

Let’s take a look at the return of the Fourth Man in Planetary #12…

Okay, so one of the big mysteries in Planetary was “Who is the Fourth Man in Planetary?” Planetary has three field operatives, but also a “fourth man.” The Fourth Man’s identity has been a mystery ever since Elijah Snow (who has ice powers) joined the team in Planetary #1.

Well, in Planetary #12 (by Warren Ellis and John Cassaday), we finally find out who the Fourth Man – it is Elijah! You see, the main villains in Planetary are “The Four,” a group of explorers who are like Planetary, in that they, too, are archaeologists of the unexplained, except the Four uses what they find for their own personal gain. They want to hoard all the cool technology and stuff that they discover. Planetary is all for the betterment of mankind.

When Snow appeared to actually be a real threat, they forced him to get his memory wiped, or else the Four would kill all of the Planetary.

Well, now he remembers his true identity and, as you might imagine, Jakita Wagner and The Drummer (the other two field operatives of Planetary) are worried about the Four. Snow has other ideas…

“The” moment for me is the revelation of the 4. Great stuff by Ellis and Cassaday right there.

19 Comments

Planetary. A great series that I only read after it ended, because I feared it might be too much like Authority.

It took me a while to see beyond the physical similarities between The Four and the Fantastic Four. The FF’s hoarding of technology and maintenance of the status quo really has been ripe for condemnation all these decades.

I’m guessing Golden and Silver Age Sups would have qualified for that treatment at one point as well.

I wonder if Ellis constructed this scene around the concept of turning the FF call sign, Johnny’s flaming 4, into Elijah’s icy 4, or if this came to him later. Or if it was Cassaday’s idea. I imagine they giggled maniacally when they came up with it either way.

I think the closest they came to taking on Superman, other than the Planetary/JLA one shot, was the issue where the Four run across various Planetary Universe versions of DC heroes. It doesn’t go well for baby Kal el.

Its also really funny when in Astonishing X-men, Cassaday draws the actual Fantastic Four almost exactly like The Four here LOL

This is a great moment from a great series. But I can’t be the only one who saw the revelation of Elijah as the Fourth Man coming a mile away. Like, issue one, probably.

Also, props to you Brian for committing to doing a whole ‘nother year of cool comic book moments for 2010. I look forward to seeing that.

You DID say that, right?

I think the closest they came to taking on Superman, other than the Planetary/JLA one shot, was the issue where the Four run across various Planetary Universe versions of DC heroes. It doesn’t go well for baby Kal el.

It does not take any real nerve to take on the DC Trinity. Literally everyone has done a Superman, a Batman and/or a Wonder Woman pasitche. The average fan has condemned Superman by the end of their first convention.

Warren Ellis has nothing if not gutsy. Deconstructing Lee-Kirby took nerve. He and John Cassiday did beautifully.

i also love where Elijah after getting his memory back and learning the reason he got wiped shows that he is going to get some payback on the four by using his power to send a meassage to them. a good book that took the standard super heroes and put a firecracker in the genre

“It doesn’t go well for baby Kal el.”

Understatement.

Though I felt the Green lantern Analogue had a far worse fate.

“It doesn’t go well for baby Kal el.”

Understatement.

Though I felt the Green lantern Analogue had a far worse fate.

^
I dunno, at least the Lantern lived a good life. Baby Kal El escaped hot flames only to run right into some more.

“i’m back. the game’s afoot.” is my moment

This issue really had me thinking of his work on “Ruins” more than any other issue of Planetary, although I could see similar shades as the Four became more prominent.

I don’t believe Ellis outright hates Marvel & DC’s heroes, but he sure seems to have some twisted alternate histories baked up for them.

So Planetary was fighting against 4-Chan?

I forget.
Was it in an earlier or later issue that in the last page, we see Elijah Snow on the operating table sending out a message to his fellow Planetary saying something like “Do not attempt to rescue me. That’s a direct order. But give them hell.”
Something along those parts. That’s a great ending to an issue.
Anyone remember what he really said and what particular issue?

Issue #14. You’re not too far off the mark.

umm sorry to bother waht they did with baby kal?

Yup! This is one of those reasons why “The Fourth Man” was on my Top Ten Favourites list!

“The Fourth Man’s identity has been a mystery”

I haven’t read the series, but who was it a mystery to? It seemed like his teammates knew, the Four knew…was it just a shock for the readers?

It was a mystery to Elijah Snow

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