"In From the Cold": Elijah Snow meets up with John Stone at the remote bar, The Last Shot, in Kazakhstan. He tells him he picked the spot -- as he suspects Stone did back then -- because it would interfere with communication devices, and prevent them from being listened to. Like when Stone broke
- Just remember I asked you to give up.
Appearing in "In From the Cold"
- The Four (Flashback only)
- James "Jim" Wilder (Flashback only)
- The Last Shot
- The Bleed (Flashback only)
- The Devil's Paw
Synopsis for "In From the Cold"
Elijah Snow meets up with John Stone at the remote bar, The Last Shot, in Kazakhstan. He tells him he picked the spot -- as he suspects Stone did back then -- because it would interfere with communication devices, and prevent them from being listened to. Like when Stone broke down Snow's memory blocks in the first place. Snow tells him he knows The Four has something on Stone; that Stone was responsible for Jim Wilder stepping on the travelstone; and that "I can't have a major intelligence player helping The Four."
Stone escapes, because that's what he does, but not for long. The Drummer slows him down with some mines, and Jakita slugs him into unconsciousness, although not easily. Stone comes to in a hospital bed, where Snow greets him and tells him they've removed both the listening device and the bomb planted there by The Four, and wants to know everything, starting with The Four. Stone tells him how when they went into The Bleed between realities back in 1961, that was Randall Dowling's goal, to find another Earth, and make a deal with its conquerors. The deal was simple: The Four would get powers, and they'd deliver our Earth, easily conquerable, to the aliens. How The Four became empowered, why they've denied our Earth so much of its potential for greatness, and what would happen next, are laid out by Stone.
Are we a third-world version of the Earth, asks Stone? Maybe. But, he adds, The Four (what's left of them) are scared. Snow's return, and new approach, have them worried, since they need to deliver a subjugated Earth, not one with someone powerful like Snow running around. At the end, Snow learns that Dowling is behind Stone's greatly decreased rate of aging, and that his power is to stretch, not with his body, but with his mind -- he becomes other people, takes them over, and replaces their minds with his own. That, Stone says, is why he brought Snow back: to save him. Snow assures that it is what he is doing and will "take things from here."
- This issue is collected in Planetary Vol. 4: Spacetime Archaeology.
- John Stone's responsibility for Jim Wilder's circumstance occurred in Planetary #4.
- The Four's origin is more broadly explained and continued from Planetary #6.
- The Devil's Paw used by John Stone is based on the Satan Claw, a power glove used by Nick Fury's foe Baron von Strucker that Fury himself memorably used in one of his better-known stories
- The alternate Earth that The Four travel to is very similar to the hell planet Apokolips. It should be noted that Apokolips and The Four's baseline counterpart, the Fantastic Four, were created by Jack Kirby. Randall Dowling's description of the alternate earth "a planet of eternal superentities who learned the secrets of inhuman powers many centuries back" is maybe a reference to the Eternals, who were also created by Kirby.
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