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"Century": It's 1919, Germany, and Elijah Snow makes his way up a storm-swept mountain to a broken-down castle. Lightning crashes down around him as he enters and lets himself into an abandoned laboratory, a room whose towering walls stretch up many stories to an open skylight above. At the lab'
- And so it was that I studied with the world's greatest detective for five years, until he finally died of old age. To his disgust, I never got rid of the accent in his lifetime. It took another ten years of walking across the world to do that. But I never lost my love of the secrets. And I don't think I ever will.
- -- Elijah Snow
Appearing in "Century"
- Sherlock Holmes (First appearance chronologically)
- Count Dracula
Synopsis for "Century"
It's 1919, Germany, and Elijah Snow makes his way up a storm-swept mountain to a broken-down castle. Lightning crashes down around him as he enters and lets himself into an abandoned laboratory, a room whose towering walls stretch up many stories to an open skylight above. At the lab's center, a place "where dead men walked," Snow examines an elevated platform some 50 feet above the floor. In doing so, he inadvertently releases several large egg-shaped structures from the walls, hatching five vaguely humanoid monsters that he overcomes only thanks to his agility and unique powers. He then leaves the lab behind for his true objective at the castle: the library, and the three-dimensional, electrical globe he had been told about -- the secret map of the world.
Jump ahead to 1920, England, and Baker Street. This time Snow breaks into the home of an elderly man, who he find in a shadowy sitting room, smoking a distinctive pipe that could only belong to the world's greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes. Telling Holmes he knows of the Conspiracy that he and his associates had been up to since the past century, Snow goes on to say he intends to put an end to it. At which point, he is jumped by a pale, stone-faced ghoul who could only be yet another legendary figure: Count Dracula. Overcoming him easily, Snow learns from Holmes that the detective had wanted to do the same to the vampire "for the last 20 years." The point of the Conspiracy, says Holmes, had been to make the world better. Instead, by taking to the darkness, they became darker themselves. Dracula's death will likely end the group's association. Snow, however, wants more: knowledge. "To be a detective, then?" says Holmes. "Very well. I can instruct you in my methods." And over the next five years, he does. Snow gets his wish. The seeds of Planetary are sown.
- This issue is collected in Planetary Vol. 3: Leaving the 20th Century.
- The Conspiracy led by Sherlock Holmes is a nodding reference to Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which compose a team of literary characters.
- The issue makes further references to Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Steam Man of the Prairies, Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder, and Robur the Conqueror.
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