Elijah Snow is hired by Jakita Wagner to join Planetary, a four-man team (3 field agents and one mysterious backer known as "the Fourth Man") looking to uncover the hidden history of the world as "mystery archeologists." Their first mission: to explore a man-made cavern in the Adirondacks, the last known destination of Doc Brass, an adventurer from the 1930s and 1940s.
Elijah Snow is asked by Jakita Wagner to join Planetary -- a group of archaeologists who map the secret history of the world -- as their new field agent. He joins under the promise of a million dollars a year and record of him eliminated. He is introduced to The Drummer and goes on his first investigation that of going to view the secret base of a Renaissance Man and adventurer named Dr, Axel Brass; a man who may no longer need to eat or sleep. After arriving at the headquarters Elijah and Jakita see Brass still alive but with damaged legs Doc Brass then tells them that years ago in the forties he and his fellow adventurers had secretly gathered in the same base and had created a supercomputer that harassed the 196,833 universes and realign them and merge them, Doc Brass and his associates wished to use the device and the multiverse in a attempt to create a perfect world but failed when a group of people (JLA-like beings) from another universe used the computer to come to their universe. The other beings universe was dying and these beings attempted to take the other world and kill everyone on this Earth for their Earth's population a battle ensued and all were killed except Brass who suspects the years is 1970. Planetary crew cleans up Doc Brass' headquarters while he will be placed in care. Elijah tells Jakita how strange the world is while Jakita tells him "Let's keep it that way".
Elijah Snow is approached in a diner in the middle of the desert by Jakita Wagner, who attempts to recruit him into Planetary -- a group of archaeologists who map the secret history of the world -- as their new field agent, or "third man". He reluctantly joins under the promise of a million dollars a year and all public records of his life eliminated. He is introduced to The Drummer -- the final member of the field team -- and accompanies his teammates on an investigation of a secret Adirondacks base of Renaissance Man and adventurer Dr, Axel Brass.
Upon arriving at the mountain stronghold, Elijah and Jakita discover Brass still alive within the compound, having sustained crippling injuries to his legs many years ago. Brass tells them of his companions in the 1940s -- like-minded adventurers including Hark, Kevin Sack (Lord Blackstock), and the Dark Millionaire --and the supercomputer they built that harnessed the power of 196,833 universes in order to realign and merge them. In their attempt to use the device to create a perfect world, they opened a rift into another universe where seven strangers (a pastiche of the most iconic members of the Justice League) awaited them. These strangers came from a dying universe, and they desperately fought Brass and his companions in an attempt to overtake our reality and replace this Earth's population with their own. In the enusing battle, all combatants perished save for Brass, who stayed in the stronghold to defend it against potential incursions from other dimensions. Having long since overcome the need to eat or sleep and having learned to will his body to heal itself, he has maintained his vigil over the supercomputer ever since, estimating that the year is roughly 1970.
After his tale, the Planetary team cleans up Brass' headquarters and takes him into their care, setting up a watch on the supercomputer and archiving the contents of the fortress. Elijah comments to Jakita how strange the world is, to which Jakita responds, "Let's keep it that way"; this statement will become the mantra of the series going forward.
The issue is conceptually about the rise of superhero comics, which overthrew the pulp adventure tales of the day (represented by Doc Brass and his companions, who resemble classic characters such as Tarzan and The Shadow).