Captain Planet And The Planeteers #3
Marvel (December, 1991)“The Power Of Heart” WRITERS: Barry Dutter & Jim Salicrup PENCILER: Pat Broderick INKERS: Bruce Patterson & Ralph Cabrera COLORIST: Sarra Mossoff LETTERER: John Costanza EDITOR: Rob Tokar
Argos Bleak takes over a missile base preparing to launch toxic waste into space. He then threatens to launch it at Washington, DC, unless he’s paid a million dollars. (Insert Dr. Evil sting here.) The Planeteers arrive to stop him but it turns out to be a trap that even Captain Planet can’t get them out of, and only Ma-Ti escapes. Using his Heart power, Ma-Ti is able to summon a group of animals to storm the base and defeat Bleak’s plan to kill off the Planeteers, even defeating Bleak by using his power to show Bleak the darkness of his own heart. Although this knocks the young Planeteer out, and our mysterious person puts something in his ear like he did Linka last issue. That someone is obvious to anyone who saw the show. It’s Venomous Skumm.
What they got right: The point of the story was to show that Ma-Ti’s power wasn’t useless, and in theory they succeeded. (I’ll get into that in a moment.) The Planeteers actually use their powers together to create a fog to sneak past the goons, showing their teamwork.
What they got wrong: Of course the guards were so stupid they even lampshaded the fact that the fog looked like it could hide something and there wasn’t the right weather conditions for fog, and yet ignored it. There seem to be some odd tone shifts like that. For example, Gi quoting The Terminator and being called out on it, or the Planeteers singing “Bingo” while traveling to the missile base, or the animals talking in a way that just seemed off-putting to me. And how did Captain Planet pop up to congratulate Ma-Ti when he was unconscious? The Planeteers summon him with the powers of their rings. That was part of the trap in the first place.
Recommendation: So far, the first two issues were actually good, given the source material. This one, however, had noble intentions but fell flat before it was all over. Give this one a pass.