Thursday, July 07, 2011

Today: Star-Lord visits Planet Grabby.

It's a Naughty Tentacle and a Rashomon style story? Only from mighty Marvel! From Marvel Premiere #61, "Planet Story!" Written by Doug Moench, art by Tom Sutton.

Exploring the far reaches of space, Star-Lord and his ship...Ship are going over a recent mission to an unexplored alien planet. Ship's 'widget' probes showed signs of intelligent life, so Star-Lord flew down to investigate. Within thirty seconds of entering the atmosphere, he is nearly killed by a geyser and then sucked into "some sort of carnivorous plant." Star-Lord does not take these events as a sign, and presses on. More odd events occur, like quakes, before he gets to the ruins.

Eventually, Star-Lord is sucked into a pulsating, living cavern; with honeycomb-like slots that he compares to morgue drawers, and that's when the tentacles start getting grabby. Next comes an automated hologram slideshow of the planet's history: the intelligent lifeforms resembling sea-monkey ads (probably due to the coloring) evolve, are preyed upon by the parasitic honeycomb, break free and build cities, then the inevitable societal collapse before abandoning the planet. However many years ago that was, the planet has begun to reclaim the cities, and the honeycomb ropes Star-Lord in and starts sucking the life out of him.

But, for the second part, the narration changes from Star-Lord, to the POV of the planet! An intelligence in itself, but alone, "this planet" is thrilled to see anyone. Perhaps a little over-excited, since that's the geyser that goes tries to keep its visitor from reaching the hated cities, but then shows the slideshow in the hopes of being understood: the planet wasn't a parasite feeding on the sea-monkeys, they shared a symbiotic relationship, helping each other until the aliens decided to leave. They began farming, taking from the planet and giving nothing back, until it was nearly dead. The aliens that could fled, coldly leaving their world to fend for itself as the others died out. Desperate for companionship, the planet pulls Star-Lord into itself.

Understandably freaked out, Star-Lord manages to break free, and flies back to Ship. Both feelings hurt and a bigass hole shot in it, the planet doesn't try to stop him. Star-Lord runs over the recent events with Ship as he ponders what to do with this freaky planet. His first instinct is to destroy it, since it could be dangerous to others and it's really creepy; but Ship talks him out of it. The planet, still alone, wants to die at this point; but Star-Lord decides not to mess with it, but not to hang around, either. As he leaves, he's pretty sure he made the wrong choice for the wrong reason, and the planet softly weeps.

I think the intention here is for the reader to feel sorry for the planet, and realize there is more to this universe than we know; and I'm sorry, but that thing creeps me right out. (I first read this comic when I was ten.) And while this isn't the first living planet in comics, it predates Mogo by a good four years.

1 comment:

Dale Bagwell said...

Yeah you're right, this issue is kinda creepy! Too bad the planet's never mentioned again.