Planet Heist

Planet Heist was, like IDENTITY CRISIS or RETURN OF DONNA TROY, not an official tie-in to INFINITE CRISIS but was retroactively adopted as such.

Issue #1: Adam Strange, protector of Rann, has been arrested on Earth by the police who – understandably – don’t believe his tale of where he comes from. He recounts how he became Rann’s hero following his abduction by a Zeta Beam, and how he married Alanna, the daughter of Rann’s chief scientist, Sardath. Periodically sent back to Earth when the Zeta Beam wears off, he had been trapped there for six months before Superman visited him. Strange had asked Superman to visit Rann and find out why the Zeta Beam had not picked him up for so long; Superman tells him that Rann’s star had exploded and that the entire system, including Rann, was destroyed. Distraught, Strange headed for a bar where he was picked up by the police after his apartment block had exploded. Escaping from the police, Strange falls foul of two bounty hunters who had destroyed his apartment looking for him.

Issue #2: Strange battles the bounty hunter, and eventually captures him, taking a Zeta Beam transporter from him. Before he can make the hunter talk, however, the armoured battle suit the hunter is wearing self destructs, leaving Strange with no clue as to who sent him to catch him. Strange returns to his ruined apartment and finds his spare suit in a hidden vault. He leaves Earth and uses the bounty hunter’s Zeta Beam transporter and beams to where Rann is supposed to be only to find the star has gone supernova. Quickly taking a reading and finding that everything around him is soaked in Zeta radiation, Strange works out that the planet has been transported out of the system before the star exploded. As he makes to use the hunter’s transporter, it overheats and shuts down, stranding him in the path of the supernova.

Issue #3: As Strange lays hallucinating in the heat, he is rescued by a Thanagarian ship commanded by Sh’ri Valkyr. She has been commanded to investigate what has happened to Rann as suspicion has fallen upon Thanagar, the two planets long having been enemies. As Strange recovers, Valkyr has a tracking device secretly placed within his Zeta Beam transporter. Once he is stronger, Strange uses the ships equipment to study the supernova and realises that the exploding star before him is not Alpha Centauri and suggests that Rann’s entire system has been swapped with another. Valkyr contacts Thanagar and is ordered to ignore Strange’s theories and arrest him. Taken in chains to Thanagar, he is given a show-trial before being sentenced to death.

Issue #4: Before being executed, Strange is Zeta Beamed out of danger and into the home of Valkyr who used his own transporter to save him. She gives him the transporter and allows him to continue searching for Rann; as soon as he is gone, however, she reveals herself not to be as altruistic as she appeared. Strange transports to the home system of the supernova that had been swapped for Rann’s star and finds it has been removed. Finding an abandoned research station, he explores it and discovers the Omega Men. On Thanagar, Valkyr is contacted by her secret master, a wraith who wishes to be made real once more. Valkyr enlists the aid of a Durlan shapeshifter who Zeta Beams aboard the research station and kills one of the Omega Men, Doc.

Issue #5: Strange and Tigorr of the Omega Men discover the purpose of the research station: the creation of an Omega Beam capable of transporting anything anywhere, including entire star systems. A device of such power could also be used as a weapon; as they realise this, the station is attacked by ships from the Spider Guild, long time enemies of the Omega Men. Strange and the Omega Men head for the team’s ship as the station is rigged to self destruct; just before it explodes, Strange finds that the Omega Beam had been activated twice, once to move the supernova to Rann’s system and another to transport a single person somewhere. The research station explodes, destroying the Spider Guild ships. They head for Maltus, the destination of the single traveller but the Spider Guild have already contacted Legion, an interplanetary police force, and alerted them. Once arriving on Maltus, Strange tracks down the traveller from the research station and finds Sardath, his father-in-law.

Issue #6: Strange’s captive turns out to be a clone of Sardath who gives him the co-ordinates of Rann’s location. As he does so, Doc of the Omega Men attempts to capture Strange, killing the Sardath clone in the process and revealing himself to be the Durlan shapeshifter. Strange manages to Zeta Beam the Durlan to the Rannian supernova and he and the remaining Omega Men head for their ship, only to be blocked by Vril Dox and Legion. Meanwhile, Valkyr and her wraith-like master keep tabs on Strange using the tracking device in his Zeta Beam transporter and plan to attack as soon as they find Rann. Strange manages to bluff his way out of Legion’s grip and he and the Omega Men transport out to Rann though Vril Dox comes with them, only to be shot by Alanna, Strange’s wife.

Issue #7: On Rann, Strange is reunited with his family and he, Tigorr and Vril Dox meet with the real Sardath. He tells them that the wraith Valkyr worships is an old villain of the Justice League called Starbreaker, an energy vampire. Sardath explains that Valkyr wished to capture the Omega Beam to convert all matter into energy so that Starbreaker could feed upon it. It was Valkyr who set the bounty hunters on to Strange. Sardath hid Rann from her by using the Omega Beam to transport the entire star system into a parallel universe where entropy had destroyed all other energy, and have a second Omega Beam transport the supernova into its place. Valkyr and Starbreaker Zeta Beam into the parallel universe in her ship and the energy vampire is released to feed on the suns of Rann. As Strange and the soldiers of Rann attack the Thangarian ship, Vril Dox uses a Zeta Beam to escape. Sardath, unwilling to let Thanagar have the Omega Beam, starts its planetary transport running; moments later, Valkyr beams into Rann’s palace to confront Alanna and Sardath.

Issue #8: As the attack on the Thanagarians continues, Vril Dox returns with a Legion assault fleet and the Darkstars in tow. Strange beams into the engine of the ship and beams the reactor core into the command centre, destroying the it. He then heads to Rann where Valkyr holds his wife hostage while Legion and the Darkstars attack Starbreaker. Defeated by Strange and Alanna, Valkyr attempts to alter the co-ordinates of the Omega Beam, before being killed by Alanna. The Omega Beam transports Rann and its suns out of the parallel universe, leaving Starbreaker alone in a universe with no energy to feed off. Back in their home universe, Strange and his family realise that Valkyr had tampered with the co-ordinates, rematerialising Rann in Thanagar’s star system; before they can alter this, the Omega Beam is destroyed by a grenade Valkyr planted. Sardath claims that this will cause Thanagar to fall into its sun.

As was revealed in the RANN-THANAGAR WAR, the Thanagarians took the materialising of Rann to be an invasion. In the RANN-THANAGAR WAR SPECIAL, Sardath realises his original prediction was incorrect and, as was later discovered, it was Superboy-Prime who moved Thanagar into danger.