Captain Planet

Real Name: Captain Planet

Identity/Class: Elemental Spirit

Occupation: Protector of the Environment

Affiliations: Gaea, The Planeteers, Commander Clash

Enemies: Sly Sludge, Doctor Blight, Hoggish Greedly, Looten Plunder, Duke Nukem, Verminous Skumm, Zarm, Captain Pollution, and other despoilers of nature and polluters of the environment

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: Earth

First Appearance: Captain Planet and the Planeteers (Hanna-Barbera, September 10, 1990)

Powers/Abilities: Captain Planet is the living embodiment of the planet Earth. He is not truly flesh and blood but rather an amalgamation of the various elements.

He is enormously strong, capable of lifting tremendous weights and can fly at incredible speeds. He is also incredibly durable, able to withstand incredible levels of damage without harm. He can also alter his body at will, physically changing himself into various elements at need; fire, earth, water, or wind or even some combination of elements. He can also command the various elements and forces of the natural world to obey him; creating earthquakes or calming them, summoning waterspouts, generating tornadoes, forcing trees to grow, etc. He possesses a primal connection to the Earth and can sense disturbances in the environment; he can also communicate directly with Gaea herself.

Captain Planet is not however invincible. Apparently he can only manifest himself for brief periods and occasionally he exhausts himself and must return to the Planeteer's rings to "recharge". Also he is weakened by pollution, smog, toxic waste, radiation, and other similar types of toxins and wastes. In a sense, Captain Planet draws his power and strength from nature and such artificially created phenomenon drains his power; theoretically sufficient exposure to such would eventually kill him. Exposure to clean air, water, or even sunlight can revive him in such cases but he usually must gather his strength by returning to the rings.

Captain Planet can only be summoned by all five of the Planeteers. If even one of the Planeteers is not present or refuses to cooperate, he is unable to manifest himself. Also while he is active, the rings are nonfunctional.

History:Gaea, the Spirit of the Earth, was troubled by the various ecological problems facing mankind. While her physical form was bound to Hope Island, a small tropical island paradise,  she could manifest herself as a translucent and intangible spirit anywhere on the face of the planet; this limitation meant she was unable to intervene directly and save mankind from their own self-destruction.

Since she could act through intermediaries, she chose to embody the elements of earth, wind, fire, water and heart into five rings which she entrusted into the hands of five young teenagers whom she dubbed 'the Planeteers'. These teenagers came from all over the globe and in many ways their chosen elements were also extensions of their own personalities.

The Planeteers include Kwame; a young African who was frequently looked to as the informal leader of the group. He was wiser and more mature than his years and became the bearer of the Ring of Earth. Using it, he could create small earthquakes and fissures, move boulders or rocks, and even turn solid earth into mud.

The Russian teenager Linka embodied the element of the Wind. Although she was usually calm and gentle, she could be moved to bursts of fury (usually by Wheeler). Her ring enabled her to generate powerful gusts of wind or tornadoes which could be used both offensively or defensively; to shield others by a wall of air or spin her opponents around until they were senseless.

Wheeler was a young, brash, all-American male. He was arrogant, boisterous, and thought highly of himself. He was attracted to Linka but that usually didn't stop him from flirting with any other good looking girl who crossed his path. Despite his ego, he had a good heart and tried to do the right thing, even though he wasn't sure what the right thing is at times and frequently got himself into trouble, forcing the other Planeteers to extract him. Wheeler commanded the Ring of Fire and could create burning sparks, blasts of heat to ignite combustibles, or bursts of flame.

Gi was an Asian girl who loved marine biology and surfing. Her element was Water which she could use to create waves, water spouts, gentle rain or even divert water. She was highly concerned over ocean ecology and had a great fondness for dolphins and other marine fauna. She was second only to Wheeler for impetuousness.

Ma Ti hailed from the South American rainforests. He belonged to one of the last Indian tribes that lives in tune with nature. Frequently accompanied by his pet monkey Suchi; Ma Ti possessed the Ring of Heart. Through it, he could sense living beings and how they were feeling, and even project his thoughts and feelings to others. He was highly empathic, sensitive, and concerned with other animals and other humans.

Occasionally, the Planeteers ran into situations that not even their rings' powers were enough to deal with. In these situations, they could unite the powers of the rings to summon forth Captain Planet, and with his aid resolve whatever crisis they faced. Captain Planet was the living synthesis of the five elements, his powers a tremendously magnified version of each Planeteers, as he states "By you powers combined, I am Captain Planet!" He was a manifestation of the Planeteers' hearts and souls, a symbol of the power of teamwork and uniting their power for a greater purpose. He battled and defeated various eco-villains and protected the environment, defended humans and wildlife, preserved nature, and also safeguarded the Planeteers.

Some of Captain Planet and the Planeteers' more prominent eco-villains included Sly Sludge, Hoggish Greedly and Looten Plunder, profiteers who sought to destroy the environment for the sake of greed; the mad Doctor Blight; Duke Nukem (unrelated to the video game character) who was transformed into a radioactive monster and sought to acquire radioactive materials to increase his powers; Verminous Skumm, a bizarre rat-mutant who sought to remake the entire world in his image; Zarm, an alien life form who was the previous Earth Spirit before being supplanted by Gaea and now sought to replace her and conquer Earth itself; and Captain Pollution, the antithesis of Captain Planet himself and a creation of Zarm. Despite his many foes and the multitudes of environmental disasters and threats he faced, Captain Planet always managed to triumph in these battles.

Comments: Captain Planet was the creation of Ted Turner, founder of TBS (Turner Broadcasting System), one of the more prominent cable channels. Turner was highly concerned over the state of the environment and to promote his views, he created the TV series Captain Planet specifically to champion environmental causes and educate people, mainly children, about the environment and various ecological problems.

The show and specifically Captain Planet tended to preach about the need for clean energy, recycling, conservation, and how to protect and repair the environment. His favourite and most frequently used catchphrase was "The Power is Yours!" which emphasised that one person can make a tremendous difference. Despite or perhaps because of its message, it was a success through the 1990s and ran for a total of six seasons, producing 113 episodes and even a 12 issue comic book series from Marvel Comics.

Captain Planet was voiced by David Coburn in the TV shows. Other voice actors include Whoopi Goldberg and Margot Kidder who portrayed Gaea during different seasons. LeVar Burton was the voice of Kwame (he also hosted Reading Rainbow, and memorably played "Geordi LaForge" in the Star Trek: The Next Generation series and movies.)

Ted Turner also made sure that all of the merchandise, paraphernalia, and licensing of Captain Planet went into a special foundation that is geared for school children to help protect the environment called the Captain Planet Foundation.

Thanks to Michael Higuchi for the above profile.

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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