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"Island": A infamous and militantly radical Japanese writer/philosopher and several acolytes land on the mysterious Island Zero, on the farthest northwestern tip of the Japanese archipelago. The object of opposing territorial claims by Japan and Russia, it is thus occupied by neither. Sneering a
- So this is the job? Get jabbered at by some half-tame lunatic, get stuffed in a chopper, go somewhere with mountains and do goddamn nothing? Exciting. I'm earning my millions dollars, yes I am...
- -- Elijah Snow
Appearing in "Island"
- Shinya Fukuda
- Island Zero
- Planetary helicopter
Synopsis for "Island"
A infamous and militantly radical Japanese writer/philosopher and several acolytes land on the mysterious Island Zero, on the farthest northwestern tip of the Japanese archipelago. The object of opposing territorial claims by Japan and Russia, it is thus occupied by neither. Sneering at such concerns, the arrogant "master storyteller" claims it for Japan, but he and his followers find something unexpected -- the immense, rotting carcasses of vaguely prehistoric monsters. They've also caught the attention of Planetary, which has helped preserve the secret since uncovering it years earlier.
Jakita tells Snow that after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, there were reports of a storm -- or something -- which resulted, five years later, in Island Zero being populated by monsters. Radioactive mutants? Refugees from a door opened from a parallel earth? Extra-terrestrial? No one is sure, but what is certain is that the monsters never left the island, and died off by the mid-'70s. A small armed defense and observation force was left on the island, which also responds to the trespassers. Planetary arrives on the scene too late to prevent the writer from unleashing a deadly nerve gas, killing everyone all but Snow and Wagner. En route to the military station to gather information, the two are awestruck by a giant, dragon-like creature flying overhead. Evidently monsters still live on Island Zero after all.
- This issue is collected in Planetary Vol. 1: All Over the World and Other Stories.
- This issue is a homage to classic Japanese (kaiju) movies -- Mothra, Ghidra, Rodan, and Godzilla himself. Jakita's description of the creatures "stood as a warning" is a reference to kaiju movies being a deliberate response to nuclear weaponry, and culturally resonant, in part, due to the atomic bombs dropped on Japan by the United States in World War II. The deaths of the creatures in the mid-1970's is a retrospect nod to the end of Toho Studio's Godzilla franchise during the "Shōwa series" until being revived in the "Heisei" and "Millennium" series.
- Island Zero is analogous to Monster Island in the Godzilla film franchise, which was home/preserve for many Toho Studio's giant monsters.
- There is a sign with a three-eyed smiley symbol which is a reference to the symbol of the Transient Movement from Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan.
- The sign showing "ZARD" is base on the actual Japanese pop rock group of the same name.
- Shinya's mentions of Island Zero being located among the islands close to Russia and is off-limits "due to an issue of war legality still under arbitration" is a reference to the real-life Kuril Islands dispute.
- The Japanese writer is refer by Shinya to have "that Yukio Mishima, Aum Shinrikyo smell." Yukio Mishima was a Japanese writer, poet, playwright and nationalist who was infamously known for making a failed coup d'état attempt in November 25, 1970 to restore Japan's pre-World War II state that resulted in his ritual suicide by seppuku. Aum Shinrikyo (by today Aleph), is a Japanese new religious movement group that was notorious for carried out the 1995 sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subways.
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