Real Name: Elijah Snow
Identity/Class: Human mutant
Occupation: Archaeologist of the Unknown, agent of Planetary
Affiliations: Planetary; Sherlock Holmes; Doc Brass
Enemies: The Four
Known Relatives: None known
Aliases: The Fourth Man
Base of Operations: Active worldwide.
First Appearance: Planetary #1 (Wildstorm)
Powers/Abilities: Able to control temperatures, specifically able to extract heat to freeze things, and able to generate winter-like weather conditions. May have some degree of enhanced strength, though this is not confirmed. Some degree of retarded aging, as he is over 100 but looks to be in his late thirties.
History: Like a handful of other, equally gifted individuals, Elijah Snow was born on the first day of the Twentieth Century. Coming from an underprivileged background, his innate intelligence soon made him realise how different he was from everyone else, and an interest developed in discovering what other mysteries where hidden from the public. Elijah began to track down such curiosities, and kept a journal of his discoveries, and as time passed he soon began to notice patterns which led him to believe that some kind of grand conspiracy was seeking to direct human affairs, manipulating world events on an unimagined scale to do so. Around 1919 he found his way to Castle Frankenstein, home of the infamous scientist, and there discovered a map which told of the locations of other parts of this conspiracy. Following this lead, he came to 221B Baker Street, where he faced down two of the leaders of the conspiracy - Sherlock Holmes and Dracula. When Dracula attempted to attack him, Snow froze him solid, then shattered the vampire's crotch with a well-aimed kick. Holmes, an elderly and infirm individual, admitted his part in the conspiracy to Snow, explaining how he and others of great power and intellect had sought to direct mankind for their own good...and how things had become perverted over time. Seeing potential in Snow, Sherlock Holmes agreed to teach him.
If Snow gained nothing else from his time with the great detective, it improved his articulation. He continued to hunt down the mysteries of the world, and in the mid-1930s came across the hidden city of Opak-Re, where he befriended jungle lord Kevin Blackstock, and fell in love with a native girl, Anaykah. Leaving for a short time, he returned to find Blackstock had fathered a child with his beloved, and that this child was to be left to die while the people of Opak-Re, obsessed with keeping themselves pure and untainted by the outside world, sealed off their city. Snow took the child, and gave her to a German couple to raise. She would grow up to be his ally, Jakita Wagner.
At some point after this, Snow founded an organisation, Planetary, dedicated to furthering his personal research into Earth's secret history. With several local field offices dotted around the globe, the group could alert him whenever evidence of something interesting arose. For field investigations, he organised a team of special operatives, each with superhuman powers, who could handle the more interesting cases. The team had three members, with Snow, the co-ordinator, gaining the title "The Fourth Man" as a result. His informal journals were now more organised, as each year he would publish the Planetary Guide to the secrets uncovered.
As time passed, Snow noticed the familiar signs of another conspiracy, this one tracing back to a group of astronauts, the Four Voyagers, who had come back from a 1960's space flight ...changed. Each had gained incredible powers, but they were also no longer quite human. Convinced of their evil intentions, Snow turned Planetary into a weapon to stop the Four. He lured one of them, Kind Suskind, to Planetary's Antarctic base, where his team took her down. When a second member of the Four, William Leather, followed Suskind into the base, he too was swiftly dealt with. However Snow's team simply weren't ready for the Four's leader, Randall Dowling, who used a flying saucer to teleport the entire base into his custody. Snow awoke to find himself restrained, and was offered a choice by Dowling: have much of his memory wiped to stop him being a threat, or see his agents die. Snow acquiesced.
For the next few years, Snow lived as a drifter, while Planetary carried on without him, as per his last orders. However, after agent Ambrose Chase died, the remaining members of the group decided to disobey their instructions not to track Snow down. Jakita recruited the still amnesiac Snow into Planetary, not mentioning to him his past involvement with the group. Relatively quickly he came to notice the gaps in his recollections, and finally much of his memory returned. Now Snow has resumed his campaign against the Four Voyagers, and is gathering his forces to take them down.
Comments: Created by Warren Ellis.
For more on Elijah Snow and Planetary check out The Planetary Comic Appreciation Page.
Thanks to Shannon Lewis for pointing out Snow's longevity.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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