"Mystery in Space": The Planetary team is in Zambia at a secret base. A strange alien construct has been found floating in space, past the range of conventional crewed spacecraft. Elijah decides to send in "the angels." Jakita is unhappy that Snow has been so secretive about the hidden base. The
Appearing in "Mystery in Space"
- Dr. Kwelo
- Planetary helicopter
Synopsis for "Mystery in Space"
The Planetary team is in Zambia at a secret base. A strange alien construct has been found floating in space, past the range of conventional crewed spacecraft. Elijah decides to send in "the angels." Jakita is unhappy that Snow has been so secretive about the hidden base. The angels, captured by Snow when they arrived in Germany in the 1930s, are aliens that feed on information. Snow intends to send them up to investigate the alien construct. He also wants them to get a look at Jacob Greene, who Snow believes The Four will send for their own interest.
The angels are fired into space in yet another alien spacecraft that Snow confiscated in 1951. The Drummer elaborates on his theories that the "century babies" are the life protection system of the multiverse. Arriving in the alien construct, the Planetary team are able to view what is happening through the angels' eyes. The construct is a gigantic alien vessel, the inside of which is dominated by a massive fossilized throne the size of Manhattan. The interior of the ship resembles a primordial environment, with tribes of people scurrying across the ground. The team theorizes that the ship has been abandoned for so long it's developed its own ecosystem.
The angels then fly into the next compartment to find a massive fossilized alien corpse, with a village living beneath its foot and all manner of lifeforms moving across the surface of its skin. As the Planetary team goggle at the huge body, another spacecraft pulls up to the vessel.
"Finally", Elijah says. "Jacob Greene."
- This book was first published on March 31, 2004.
- This issue is collected in Planetary Vol. 4: Spacetime Archaeology.
- Elijah Snow speculates that Earth's premature contact with the Bleed is what generated extraterrestrial interest on the planet. This is a call back to the Shiftship crash depicted in Planetary #4, the 1920's shiftship invasion that Jenny Sparks fought in StormWatch #44, the 1931 Judgement, Rhode Island incident in Planetary/The Authority: Ruling the World followed not long after by the Bleed incursion rebuffed by Axel Brass and his associates in 1945 in Planetary #1.
- The Drummer recalls the Snowflake in Planetary #1, and considers each facet of the snowflake a two dimensional element that touches one, and only one, of each of the 196,833 possible universes in the multiverse. He then extends the theory, envisioning the snowflake as a "real" three dimensional construct. This is a more palatable explanation of the multiverse as the universes can be stacked one of top of the other in three dimensions, or intersecting at odd angles the way they would have to for each facet of the Snowflake to be rooted in one distinct two dimensional universe.
- The cover of this issue is reminiscent of a cover from Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama. In the story, a massive cylindrical ship enters the Solar System and a group of humans is sent to investigate, which they discover the vessel to be an ark housing different species living in different environmental zones.
- The Angels are somewhat reminiscent of The Recorders, a robotic race whose sole task is to record the goings-on around the universe, created by Marvel Comics.
- Elijah's reference to a failed alien invasion in 1951 is likely a reference to the actual year when science-fiction films were becoming popular. 1951 was also the year that DC Comics launched the science-fiction comic series Mystery in Space.
- The Angels' ships's propulsion is based on the holographic principle. The theory holds that our universe is essentially two-dimensional, and our perception of it is the same as our perception of holograms.
- The gigantic entity is likely a reference to the Marvel Comics character Galactus. The entity being devour by the lifeforms is an ironic take on Galactus, who was known for devouring planets.
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