We all know the story of Superman: the last son of the dying planet Krypton is sent to Earth where, under our yellow sun, he gains incredible abilities. We also know the story of Green Lantern, a cocky test pilot is given a power ring and must report to Oa, headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps. Both characters’ origins revolve — or should we say orbit — around alien planets, and they’re not alone.
The DC universe is full of fictional planets, each stranger and more unique than the last. DC created and found great success in creating the first superhero, Superman. It makes sense based on the popularity of Superman — and aliens — that DC would use alien superheroes, distant planets and other cosmic elements in later characters’ stories. So which among these celestial bodies are the best? CBR is here to countdown the Coolest Planets in the DC Universe.
While at a dig in Peru, Earth archeologist Adam Strange was struck by a zeta beam, which teleported him to the far-off planet of Rann. Upon arriving, Strange was attacked by alien creatures, only to be rescued by Alanna, daughter of Sardath, the Rann scientist who sent the Zeta beams to Earth. After a series of events, Strange learns that he is bound to Rann for a time, and decides to protect the people of the planet until his departure.
Created by Adam Strange creators Julius Schwartz and Murphy Anderson, Rann is perhaps one of DC’s lesser known planets, except among Adam Strange fans of course. Strange stood stronger and superior amongst Rannians because the planet’s long reliance on technology had stagnated their race and made most of them sterile. Despite the native species’ weakened state, Rann is a highly advanced planet with a lot of history in the DC universe.
Perhaps one of DC’s lesser known characters and planets is the Dwayne McDuffie and M.D. Bright creation Icon — recently featured in the “Young Justice” animated series — and his home planet of Terminus. A title of Milestone Media, “Icon” #1 premiered in May of 1993. Icon and the other Milestone Media characters like Static Shock were merged into the DC continuity in 2008.
Though Icon has the appearance of a human, his real name is Arnus, an alien of Terminus — a planet far off in the Milky Way. Terminus is home to Terminians — a semi humanoid race — and several other alien immigrants who have sought refuge on the highly advanced planet. Arnus was a renowned mediator who, when transported to Earth, was believed to have died in a Star-liner accident. Arnus was found alive on Earth by his later sidekick Rocket, who convinced him to be a superhero. When Arnus returned to Terminus, his newfound celebrity status turned the planet into a popular intergalactic tourist location.
Qward was first mentioned in the pages of “Green Lantern” in October of 1960 and has had a lot of history in the DC universe. Qward is the result of experiments performed by the Oan scientist, Krona, who was trying to learn the origins of the universe and in turn created a universe parallel to our own. In that universe, Qward is the counterpart of Oa. Various comics have stated that Qward’s universe is considered an antimatter universe.
Qward has been home to various DC villains over the years. The evil version of the Justice League — the Crime Syndicate — was originally written to be from Qward, though this was later changed to an alternate Earth in the same antimatter universe. There were also the Weaponers and the Thunderers, Qwardian guardians that helped Sinestro create the yellow power ring of fear. Later on, the Sinestro Corps themselves eventually took up residence on Qward partnering with the Weaponers. That is, before the Sinestro Corps killed all inhabitants of Qward, including the guardians.
Home to the Main Man himself, Czarnia is where intergalactic bounty hunter and mercenary Lobo hails from. Czarnia was at one point a highly advanced utopia. It was free of crime, celebrated the arts and had many advanced versions of Earth institutions. The civilization rivals even Krypton at one point, though their thirst for universal domination was a bit closer to the likes of Thanagar. Despite living in a near-perfect society, the entire species was destroyed by a lone, evil child. When he was just 17, Lobo created a species of killer scorpions that he used to kill every other Czarnian.
Czarnia gave the DC universe Lobo, but it also almost took him away. In “Lobo Infantcide,” hundreds of Lobo’s illegitimate children formed an army amongst the wreckage of Czarnia and attempted to assassinate their womanizing father. Lobo survived, of course, but during the miniseries, he had the chance to explore his destroyed planet for the first time since leaving. Though, there wasn’t much left.
As many comics fans know, Oa is the headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps. The Lanterns report to Oa for assignments, power-battery recharges and other Corps business. The Oans moved to this planet from their previous planet of Maltus. They moved to Oa because of its location at the center of the universe, as well as the power beneath its soil. This location was a tactical choice as it would allow the Oans to become the Guardians of the universe, a goal which required a police force armed with the green willpower energy that powers the Green Lantern Rings.
Oa’s location at the center of the universe helps it to function as the central hub for sectoring off the universe and sending out Green Lanterns to protect them. The Guardians stand as the leaders of the planet and the Green Lantern Corps, commanding from the only city on the otherwise deserted planet of Oa. When not protecting their sectors or recuperating in their designated sector houses, Green Lanterns can usually be found on Oa, either training, catching a bite to eat or, when it was open, draining a pint at Guy Gardner’s bar, Warrior’s.
Home to fan-favorite Teen Titan Starfire, Tamaran is located in the Vegan system — as in the star Vega, not a vegan — 26 lightyears away from Earth. Tamaranians are gifted with the abilities of flight, super strength, energy projection and superhuman durability. They are a very passionate species, driven by emotions, which has lead to a lot of strife amongst the planet’s populace.
Tamaran is depicted as a tropical and technological paradise, a place where wildlife is kept in tact and technological advancements are reserved and non-invasive. Tamaranians’ tendency to act on emotions has led to several civil wars and feudal societies. Despite this, Tamaran managed to find peace for a short time before a war-mongering species known as The Citadel declared war on them. To save his people, of which millions had been killed by the invader, King Myand’r sacrificed his daughter, Koriand’r – aka, Starfire — to the Citadel as tribute for a truce between the two races. Koriand’r was forced into slavery by the Citadel, which eventually led to her escape and meeting with the Teen Titans on Earth.
Thanagar is the home of Justice League heroes, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, both of whom were police officers of their home planet before coming to Earth. The society of Thanagar was utopian and free of crime, poverty and civil unrest. Crime was introduced into society by a race of bird-men known as the Manhawks whose influence led to the creation of the Wing-men police that Hawkman and Hawkgirl were a part of.
There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the Thanagarians. Most fans of the animated “Justice League” remember Thanagarians as actual bird-people, with biological wings and enhanced strength and durability. The comics are much different, however, and Thanagarians are nearly identical to humans. The Thanagarians used Nth metal to build wings and weapons in order to enhance themselves. Despite the confusion, Hawkman and Hawkwoman are two of DC’s longest running heroes, and their home planet of Thanagar is one of the cooler planets in the DC universe.
This list wouldn’t be complete without the strangest DC planet of them all, Mogo, living planet and member of the Green Lantern Corps. Mogo — often referred to as a “he,” so we will follow suit here — is a sentient celestial body that can change his environment, flora and fauna at will. When desired, Mogo shows his Green Lantern affiliation by growing foliage to show the lantern symbol across his equator. Despite this, until relatively recently, Mogo is a rather unsociable Green Lantern. Then again, wouldn’t you be too if you were a freaking planet?
Mogo’s first encounter with an advisory was made famous by the DC animated film “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights,” an anthology movie featuring tales of five famous Green Lanterns. Mogo was sought after by Bolphunga, a bounty hunter who was after the legendary Green Lantern, but only knew his name. Bolphunga believed Mogo to be residing on the planet he tracked him to. The hunter spent years on Mogo, trying to find him, only to learn that Mogo was the planet itself, which prompted him to panic and leave. When he’s not scaring bounty hunters, Mogo serves as the hub for sending Green Lantern Rings to new owners after their hosts die.
7. BIZARRO WORLD (HTRAE)
Everything is opposite on Bizarro World: bad is good, stupid is smart, and ugly is beautiful. All politics and social norms of Earth are reversed, much like the planet’s name, Htrae, which is “Earth” spelled backwards. Funny enough, Bizarro world is not actually where Bizarro and his colorful cast of friends are from. Bizarro was actually Lex Luthor’s failed attempted at trying to clone Superman using a duplicator ray. After causing so many problems on Earth, Bizarro went off to find his own world to look after, using the very duplicator ray that created him to create his own Bizarro World.
The planet was populated by imperfect duplicates of Bizarro Superman and Bizarro Lois Lane, as well as other main characters of DC’s Earth. They governed the planet with the moniker of “Us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World!” Superman once broke this rule and avoided a death sentence by changing the planet’s shape from an Earth-like perfect sphere into a Bizarro-appropriate cube.
6. NEW GENESIS
Created by Jack Kirby as part of the Fourth World series, New Genesis is a planet from another dimension and is home to the New Gods. Contrary to what you might think, New Genesis is not in another universe but rather another dimension, one that runs parallel to the DC universe. Confusing yes, and the difference isn’t exactly explained in detail. Regardless, the Fourth World dimension houses both New Genesis and their longtime enemies, who live on Apokolips.
New Genesis was created after the destruction of the Old Gods, forming in the destruction along with its counterpart, Apokolips. It is ruled by Highfather, leader of the New Gods and controller of “The Source,” an energy field that powers the people and technology of New Genesis. Apropos to its name, New Genesis is a paradise of wildlife and vegetation. The people of New Genesis are so respecting of nature that their only city floats above the ground so as to preserve the planet’s surface from intrusion. New Genesis and the New Gods were featured in an episode of the first season of “Young Justice”
Speaking of Apokolips, the wasteland counterpart of New Genesis is perhaps more well known due to its leader, the evil Justice League foe, Darkseid. Like New Genesis, Apokolips first premiered in Kirby’s Fourthworld and has since been a staple in the DC Comics universe, both before and after the New 52 reboot. The planet of evil is home to other famous DC characters including Granny Goodness, Orion and Big Barda.
The war between New Genesis and Apokolips represents the battle between good and evil, New Genesis representing good and Apokolips representing evil. Fitting to this theme, Apokolips is the exact opposite of the lush, green New Genesis, instead being covered in a planet-wide city that is broken up only by explosive fire pits and wastelands. The only truce that has come between the two warring planets happened when Orion and and Mister Miracle switched fathers — Orion going to live under Highfather and Mister Miracle under Darkseid — as an attempt at peace.
Though Mars does actually exist in the real universe, DC’s Mars is a lot more, shall we say, lively. This is of course because Mars is home to a species of Martians, one of which came to Earth and began a life as John Jones, aka, the Martian Manhunter. The Martians of the DC universe are gifted with several superpowers, including telekinesis and telepathy, as well as shape and density shifting.
Martians were originally a race of asexually reproducing, pyrokinetic aliens known as “the Burning.” The Burning had plans for universal domination but were stopped by The Guardians of the Universe (from Oa), who evolved the Burning into two groups of Martians, white and green. There have been civil wars amongst the two for centuries as the green Martians believe that the white Martians are nothing but vicious warriors. The Guardians also gave both Martian species a fear and weakness of fire as a means of preventing their pyrokinetic Burning DNA from rearing its head. Some Martians like J’onn J’onzz and M’gann M’orzz left Mars to live on Earth and take human and superhero identities.
Many of us already know that Krypton is Superman’s home planet, but not everyone knows the long history behind it. Krypton orbits a red dwarf star known as Rao — also the name of Krypton’s deity — and existed many lightyears away from Earth. Krypton and its inhabitants were much like Earth’s, but much more advanced. Thanks to the complete destruction of disease, and technology like cloning — which helped create non-sentient organ farms for citizens – Kryptonians had become effectively immortal.
Despite this veritable utopia, Krypton was doomed to be destroyed. Kryptonian Scientist Jor-El learned of geological disturbances that could very well be the end of their civilization. Though the Kryptonian Science Council rejected Jor-El’s claims, they turned out to be true; Krypton was doomed. Jor-El managed to save his son, Kal-El, from Krypton’s destruction by sending him to Earth, and thus began the tale of Superman. There is a lot more to Krypton than Superman’s origin of course — Doomsday’s creation in primordial Krypton, Green Lantern Tomar-Re being assigned to Krypton during its destruction, the rise and fall of General Zod, and of course the creation of Braniac just to name a few. Like its once fertile environs, its mythos is rich.
Warworld is a freaking planet-sized tank… how much cooler does it get? The Warworld, created by Len Wein and Jim Starlin in the pages of “DC Comics Presents” #27, was designed and built by a war-Mongering alien race known as the Warzoons. They designed Warworld as their ultimate weapon; a weapon the size of a planet with controls that respond to mental commands. The Warzoons died mysteriously, leaving their ultimate weapon in the hands of the Largas, who gave he key to the Warworld to the Martians for safekeeping.
DC villain Mongul eventually sought out the Warworld, forcing Superman to give him the key. Mongul got control of Warworld, despite Superman and Martian Manhunters attempts to stop him. However, Superman and Supergirl managed to overload the mental command system and take out Mongul after learning that the Warzoons died from the neurological stress of the Warworld’s controls. Warworld has been featured in several DC animated shows including “Justice League” and “Young Justice.”
Surprised by this one? Well, don’t be — the Earth featured in the DC comics universe is perhaps the coolest planet of them all. Think about it, while the DC Earth is much like ours, it is also home to nearly every DC superhero imaginable, and that makes it 10 times more awesome automatically. The Earth featured in the pre-New 52 universe was home to a lot of wacky, cool and classic superheroic tales and stories, not to mention your various hidden temples, lazarus pits, secret cities and long-buried celestial beings.
Though the DC universe features many planets, most books of course focus on tales taking place on Earth. DC’s Earth is by no means normal; though there are everyday civilians, there are also people dressed as bats, flying aliens of all flavors, and villains that threaten the planet on a daily basis. Without DC’s Earth, there is no Metropolis for Superman to save, no Gotham City for Batman to guard. Planets like Oa and Krypton might be staple alien planets in the DC universe, but Earth is definitely its greatest, and coolest planet. not for nothing, after all, are almost all of DC’s wars waged there!
What’s your favorite planet in the DC Universe? Let us know in the comments!