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Planetary # 6 - Warren Ellis John Cassaday

Written by Arion on Saturday, September 27 2014 and posted in Blog
Planetary # 6 - Warren Ellis John Cassaday
A brilliant mind can be both: a gift and a curse. A superior intellect can never be a guarantee of a happier or better life. It all depends on the decisions we make with the resources available to us. Even a genius can turn his life into hell. “It’s a Strange World” (published in November 1999) introduces the Four into the world of the Archeologists of the Impossible.

The Four are a group of space explorers led by Randall Dowling, arguably Earth’s brightest scientific mind. Of course, this man shares many similitudes with Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), the leader of the Fantastic Four; then there is Jacob Greene, a pilot slightly reminiscent of Ben Grimm, AKA the Thing; William Leather, the youngest in the team, would be the equivalent of Johnny Storm, best known as the Human Torch; finally, Kim Süskind, the only woman, would be Susan Storm, AKA the Invisible Woman.

As part of a secret space rocket program developed by Nazi scientists employed by the US Government, the mission of this team is to land on the Moon. And so they leave Earth on 1961, except they never make it to the Moon. Instead, they collide against an impossible energy emanation, a fractal explosion similar to the one witnessed by the agonizing heroes from “All Over the World”.
Planetary # 6 - Warren Ellis John Cassaday
Subterrans: a hunting trophy / Subterráneos: un trofeo de caza

Planetary # 6 - Warren Ellis John Cassaday
The origin of the Four / el origen de los Cuatro
Irradiated by this energy, the explorers gain extraordinary abilities. They are no longer human. But unlike the Fantastic Four, they are not here to make the world a better place. If Reed Richards had the generosity and kindness to share his discoveries and scientific breakthroughs, it was because he considered his brain to be a gift. Randall Dowling, on the other hand, is cursed with this superior intelligence, and so he refuses to spend his time saving lives or improving the world. Warren Ellis proves that being a genius is one thing, and being a hero is something else entirely. 

If the Fantastic Four are Marvel’s premiere superhero family, and the most noble heroes one could think of, the Four are the most dangerous and lethal villains in the history of mankind. Just like William Leather explains to Elijah Snow: “We are optimal humans. We are explorers, scientist gods, the secret heroes of a world that doesn’t deserve us”. Wrapped up in arrogance and deliriums of grandeur, the Four have poisoned the lives of the people around them, halting progress and sabotaging scientific innovations.

Elijah Snow and Jakita Wagner make a mistake. They try to attack Four Voyagers Plaza, the building owned by the Four. The attack is quite unsuccessful, and in the end Elijah Snow is shocked by the fact that William Leather knows a lot more than he should about his past.

As usual, I would like to take a moment to talk about John Cassaday’s amazing art. One of his best pages here is the one that shows the “Subterrans”, an underworld race similar to the “Moloids” from the Fantastic Four. The desiccated corpses of three murdered Subterrans is evidence enough of the cruelty of the Four. The fighting sequence between Jakita and Leather is quite impressive, as well as the confrontation between Leather and Snow.  
Planetary # 6 - Warren Ellis John Cassaday
Jakita Wagner versus William Leather

Una mente brillante puede ser un don o una maldición. Un intelecto superior nunca garantiza una vida mejor o más feliz. Todo depende de las decisiones que tomemos con los recursos a nuestra disposición. Incluso un genio puede convertir su vida en un infierno. “Es un mundo extraño” (publicado en noviembre de 1999) introduce a los Cuatro en el mundo de los Arqueólogos de lo Imposible.

Los Cuatro son un grupo de exploradores espaciales liderados por Randall Dowling, probablemente la mente científica más brillante de la Tierra. Por supuesto, este hombre comparte muchas similitudes con Reed Richards (el Sr. Fantástico), líder de los Cuatro Fantásticos; luego está Jacob Greene, un piloto ligeramente parecido a Ben Grimm, también conocido como la Cosa; William Leather, el más joven del equipo, sería el equivalente a Johnny Storm, mejor conocido como la Antorcha Humana; finalmente, Kim Süskind, la única mujer, sería Susan Storm, también conocida como la Mujer Invisible.

Como parte de un programa secreto de cohetes espaciales desarrollado por científicos nazis empleados por el gobierno de Estados Unidos, la misión de este equipo es aterrizar en la Luna. Así que dejan la Tierra en 1961, pero nunca llegan hasta la Luna. En lugar de ello, colisionan contra una imposible emanación de energía, una explosión fractal similar a la atestiguada por los héroes agonizantes de “Por todo el mundo”. 

Planetary # 6 - Warren Ellis John Cassaday
Elijah Snow & William Leather
Irradiados por esta energía, los exploradores ganan habilidades extraordinarias. Ya no son humanos. Pero a diferencia de los Cuatro Fantásticos, ellos no están aquí para hacer del mundo un lugar mejor. Si es que Reed Richards tenía la generosidad y la amabilidad de compartir sus descubrimientos y avances científicos, era porque consideraba que su cerebro era un don. Randall Dowling, por otro lado, tiene la maldición de una inteligencia superior, así que se rehúsa a perder el tiempo en salvar vidas o mejorar el mundo. Warren Ellis demuestra que ser un genio es una cosa, y ser un héroe es algo totalmente distinto.

Si los Cuatro Fantásticos son la primera familia superheroica de Marvel, y los más nobles héroes que uno podría imaginar, los Cuatro son los más peligrosos y letales villanos en la historia de la humanidad. Tal como William Leather le explica a Elijah Snow: “Somos humanos óptimos. Somos exploradores, dioses científicos, los héroes secretos de un mundo que no nos merece”. Envueltos en arrogancia y delirios de grandeza, los Cuatro han envenenado las vidas de la gente que los rodea, deteniendo el progreso y saboteando las innovaciones científicas.

Elijah Snow y Jakita Wagner cometen un error. Intentan atacar la Plaza de los Cuatro Viajeros, el edificio propiedad de los Cuatro. El ataque no tiene éxito, y al final Elijah Snow queda impactado por el hecho de William Leather conoce mucho más sobre su pasado de lo que debería.

Como siempre, me gustaría hablar un momento sobre el asombroso arte de John Cassaday. Una de sus mejores páginas es la que muestra a los “Subterráneos”, una raza del inframundo similar a los “Moloids” de los Cuatro Fantásticos. Los cuerpos disecados de tres Subterráneos asesinados es evidencia suficiente de la crueldad de los Cuatro. La secuencia de pelea entre Jakita y Leather es bastante impresionante, así como la confrontación entre Leather y Snow.  

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About the Author - Arion

Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog - – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.


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