Wheeler is the Bizarro universe version of Fred from Scooby-Doo
First of all, Wheeler seems to be the most developed out of all the Planeteers, Fred on the other hand, in the early days, had zero to none personality
, then there comes the fact that Wheeler is the Lancer of the group, while Fred is the leader of Mystery Inc.
Captain Planet is a Na'vi with his tail cut off and Gaia is Eywa's second cousin.
Gaia and Eywa are both spirits of nature on their respective planets, and they don't save the world directly. Captain Planet and the Na'vi are both blue and want to protect the environment.
- Cap is only six-feet tall, has green hair, and a man-shaped body. Perhaps Cap & Gaia are the Id & Ego of Eywa?
- He's an immature Na'vi.
- Oh so Gaia gets killed at some point.
All the "villains" are being held prisoner by them, and are tortured by putting them in a reality where they are hated for "polluting the Earth". In reality, the villains are aliens who love our Earth. Their planet is like a sweet, backwards version of our Earth where oil and smog help the environment. But the "villains" aren't smart, so they do what helps their planet and it hurts ours. The so-called "heroes" know this but are bigoted towards aliens. With the help of an anti-Lotus-Eater Machine
, they torture them daily. Captain Planet is an alien who hates the planet that the "villains" are from, which explains the blue skin.
Captain Planet is the collective soul of all The Smurfs
are little blue creatures who live in tune with nature and have strange alchemical and magical properties while being on a first name basis with Mother Nature (though in their show, she looks like a Caucasian grandmother). The Smurfs must have created an Aeon
or Summon Monster
, either via
ritual suicide or from regular dying; rather than going to "Smurf Heaven" (which they don't believe in because they're communists
), their souls serve as fuel to power Captain Planet.
The Power Rings channel energy from the Smurfs.
Mother Nature designed The Smurfs
as a form of Bio Weapon in case humanity caused problems (more than we usually do). The rings are simply channels to the Smurfy-energy.
Captain Planet is a creation of the Planeteers' imaginations.
Take five Americanized preteens in the early '90s. (They all speak perfect English.) Have them imagine their favorite superhero buddy, and the result would look a lot like the briefs-and-boots catchphrase-spouting eco-champion we all know as "Captain Planet". The being summoned by the Planeteers' rings is a sentient manifestation of Gaia's power, but his image and personality are gleaned from the collective subconscious desires of the kids themselves. Had Gaia felt the need to summon her champions in another era, the resulting superhero would look, talk and act radically different.
- This may be the first point in history where five kids from around the globe could agree on a consistent theme for "Captain Planet". A hundred years ago, he may have looked like an unholy amalgamation of Musashi, Babalu Aye, Queatzlcoatl, Nikitich, and Davy Crockett.
- This would have been awesome if it could have been made to work.
- This is implied by the show. You're looking at a bunch of teenagers surrounded by '80s pop culture; what do you expect of them? Captain Planet's appearance is based on an amalgamation of the Planeteers themselves.
Ted Turner will leave a video (dvd
? Flash file?) will with instructions that it be played in the year 2100, which will contain the message "I told you so
Provided he's read this article
Pretty much self explanitory as seen here
Someday, when he realizes mankind will never learn, Captain Planet will cause the extinction of the human race by killing everyone as fast as he can.
The Planeteers will be among his first victims, leaving nothing that can stand in his way.
- But then Hoggish Greedly will bring out a huge Landblaser, coat that wimp Captain Planet with crude oil and smog, and proceed to become The Duke of Pork, conquering the entire world with his machine.
- Unless Cap'n killed him with oxygen intoxication (AKA dry drowning) while he was sleeping. You know he'd kill people in their sleep. Before you ask, it's possible.
- But would he kill pigs in their sleep?
- Captain Planet as a Well-Intentioned Extremist and the eco-villains as anti-heroes who oppose him? It sounds like an interesting show.
- It would look something like this.
Hope Island was in the center of the Earth until Gaia sent the rings out; then Hope Island pops up on the surface for the Planeeters to use as home base.
Gaia woke up and sent the rings out because Hoggish Greedly drilled for oil and slightly damaged the ceiling in her room.
Capt. Planet is Prometheus.
Gaia is name of a Titan in Greek myth. Prometheus is also a Titan.
- Sometimes, he acts more like Epimetheus...
- Hey, this could make sense when combined with a WMG below...
Captain Planet is a split personality of the villains.
All the various eco-villains are aspects of one villain. He split into all the villains and Captain Planet out of guilt for hurting the environment.
Gaia created the villains.
Why are all the bad guys Anviliciously
mustache-twirling evil-for-evil's sake Card Carrying Villains
? Because Gaia needed simplistic and obvious bad examples to point to. (Much like Ted Turner did.) She couldn't just give the rings to the kids and say "go clean up a landfill"; they'd be bored in five minutes. They needed action to keep it exciting. Why she had
to give the rings to adolescents is a mystery, but even money says they weren't her first choice.
- Umm, no. Gaia created humanity and everything else; humanity made the villains.
- And why did Gaia create humanity in such a way that humanity could create eco-villains? Most environmentalists will tell you that Humans Are Bastards far beyond any other species; how could Gaia have failed to predict this?
- Because mankind discovered original sin. In Greek Mythology, whence Gaia comes, Prometheus gave fire to man and hence dominion and power over the rest of the world; hence, Prometheus introduced man to original sin. He saw the error of his ways and repented. Previously, his punishment was to be chained to a rock and have his liver devoured by an eagle every day. Now he atones for his deed by being Captain Planet.
- Wait, fire is original sin? Okay, that makes some sense ecologically, but... it has unfortunate implications for whoever has the Fire ring. Maybe that's why Wheeler got picked for that one.
- This may be the reason why gingers get so much flak.
Terraforming Mars will make Ares good.
Tough to say, but Ares may be bitter at having killed his own planet and is trying to mess up Earth out of spite. If we ever do go to Mars and start making it habitable, Ares will feel The Power of Love
, mending his evil ways when life returns to his dead planet.
- Robert Zubrin is aware of this. If this theory is true, that makes him good. If the theory below is true, that may make him an evil Planeteer.
Terraforming Mars would give Ares the raw energy he needs to create more of his evil Planeteer rings and take out Gaia and the Planeteers.
Terraforming Mars would make Ares want to play Leonidas in a Martian version of 300.
This would probably wipe out any remaining life on Mars. It would also solve any population problems on Earth.
The Planeteers are the Forever People (from the DCU
), and Captain Planet is Infinity Man.
- Moonrider (shoots lasers)- Fire ring.
- Big Bear (changes density of things) - Water ring (works by changing the density of water).
- Vyking (Magnetism) - Earth ring (Controls iron in the rocks).
- Beautiful Dreamer (Telekinesis) - Wind ring (moves the air via telekinesis).
- Serifan/Serafin - Heart ring (Self Explanatory).
- Infinity Man - Captain Planet (New Powers as the Plot Demands).
- Mother Box - Gaia.
The Forever People either got turned into rings or transplanted their powers into rings. Being hippies, they'd care for the environment.
Ma-Ti can use the Power of Heart to give heart attacks.
If he can control people's hearts, then perhaps he can stop them.
- You mean Ma-ti is Kira? He can control more than minds with his power?
- He's not Kira unless he uses the power for that purpose.
There were other Power Rings, but...
Electricity was given to a Mid-American boy), and Metal was given to an Australian girl. They would've made Cap'n Planet slightly stronger. But then, those Planeteers had an interesting dialogue with Gaia:
Gaia: "So, you come and summon Capitain Planet. Electricity and Metal, as complementary elements, could give a power boost when necessary, to turn him stronger to his weaknesses, like pollution, or spilled oil."
Electricity kid: "So, Gaia, I and Metalhead here have a small question to ask..."
Gaia: "Feel free to do so."
Metal kid: "So, Captain Planet is weak to oil..."
Electricity kid: "But doesn't oil come from nature, too?"
The day after, the two were missing from the team. They and their powers rings were never heard of again. The remaining Planeteers kept their mouths shut. Ma-ti, the only one who asked what happened, had his power ring demoted in power.
That's it; if we take in consideration the natural disasters, Gaia surely is quite reactive
about what's asked of her. She prefers to risk her creations than to answer Fridge Logic
in a plausible way.
- That, but wood instead of electricity. And the reason they're not on the team anymore? Their rings got destroyed and turned them into a tree and the Geo-Cruiser respectively (that's why they don't share the technology- they can't). Sort of a Sealed Evil in a Can but with elemental powers instead.
There used to be an Electricity ring, but it became the Heart ring after a Power Limiter
The spiritual heart of a living being tends to be grounded in a brain, and its thoughts can be correlated to nerve synapses going off. Nerves work through electricity. Nerves also control the heartbeat of the literal heart.
Why is the Heart ring limited? Because raw electricity is one of the most powerful forces there is. If you can control electricity, you can ultimately control nuclear power; and in this universe, nuclear power corrupts. Gaia's refusal to control nuclear power directly led to the Heart ring being what it is - relatively limited, but relatively pure and thus, in its own way, more dangerous.
It is possible that the Fire ring once had a Power Limiter
because fire is a manifestation of original sin. If that ring had fallen in the hands of someone like Ma-Ti, it would've just disintegrated or decomposed things. But it went to Wheeler, and so it was unlocked again because you simply can't give purified entropy to someone who's starting out that damaged.
The villains are Carmen Sandiego
's henchmen doing stuff in their spare time.
The show's artwork is similar to that of Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?
. The villains' names somewhat resemble the CS style
- Hardley Worthit and Hoggish Greedly are just a hair's breadth of distance in groanitude. So, while Carmen steals landmarks with her Mooks
and one or two henchmen, her assistants train others by attempting to reach absurd levels of... eco-un
We live in a reality where the show is a self-insert fic gone wrong.
In another world out there, there is a boy named Ma-ti. He likes the show Captain Planet very much, and wishes he could be a Planeteer, so he inserts himself poorly into the adventures with a power called Heart. Unfortunately, in this reality, we have to put up with the stuff goes on in his mind. And any adventure where he moves the plot along are just his fanfics.
The Kids for Nature were Planeteers in training, during the events of the show.
In the early 1990s, The Nature Company published a comic book called Tales of Teratopia
about five kids summoned to the magical island of Teratopia to fix environmental problems with magical necklaces that let them transform into animals.
They were meant to be a secondary team ("The Legion of Substitute Planeteers"?); they were being trained to help the main group, and their necklaces would have been more powerful if Gaia hadn't put so much energy into the rings. Because Gaia was busy helping the main Planeteer team, the KFN were trained in the pocket dimension of Teratopia by her deputies, the Wolf and Snake elders.
Unlike the other rings, which are traditional elements-found-in-nature, Heart breaks into living things' minds and souls. This is forbidden
in most magical settings.
This implies that Gaia may be an Animal Wrongs Goddess
, but only for plants and dirt (animals are fair game as long as they aren't harmed so much that the ecosystem is disrupted).
It explains Wheeler's Ark
. Gaia knew it was the wrong thing to do but didn't care. As long as the ecosystem survived, her army of animal thralls was more important than anything else!
He wields power over all four elements, and the sequence is even the same! (Earth, Fire, Wind, Water vs Water, Earth, Fire, Air). Heart could be what makes avatars able to go into the avatar state and bend all four elements. After lying dormant for man generations, Gaia needed a champion of the world, so she reawakened the avatar to bring balance to the world. Or just the environment...
- Also, it could be that there's a catastrophic event that leaves the world just about in ruins, modern technology being mostly lost, and the Planeteers won't need the rings to use their powers, forming the basis of elemental bending.
Gaia gave Mah-Ti the Heart Ring because she knew he'd never figure out how to use it effectively.
Gaia states repeatedly that heart is the most powerful of all the rings, but all anyone else seems to say is that Heart is useless. The reason for this is that Gaia realized that the power of Heart, when used to its fullest potential, had a temptation for abuse so strong that almost nobody could wield it.
Just think! Heart grants the ability to influence emotions, read minds, find anyone, communicate telepathically, and who knows what else! It's the power over other living creatures!
And you can't summon Captain Planet without it.
Her solution was to find someone who had the correct mind-set (kindness, love of nature, etc.) and a strong will, but who lacked the imagination to harness — or even recognize — the full potential of the ring. This gave the Planeteers all the powers they would need as well as the ability to summon Captain Planet, but ensured that everyone would stay on the correct path.
Wheeler is the real main character.
Think about it, he's made some good points about what the Planeteers do sometimes. He may be a Jerk, but he's probably the only main character who tries to reason with the others about doing stuff that's quite wrong, such as taking Endangered Species out of their habitats.
- Were we not supposed to assume Wheeler was the main character in the first place?
- Kwame is the leader of the group, so it wouldn't be a mistake to think he's the main character.
- It's not who's running things — it's a matter of identification. Wheeler is the only one to come from the USA. The cartoon was written by Americans and first shown in the USA. It's easier to write someone from your own culture than from a foreign one. Also, Wheeler was the most clearly flawed of the heroes; that makes it much easier to write him "realistically." It would take drastic measures to have a character in this position not seem like the main character.
- I think it would be more accurate to say that while Kwame is team leader, Wheeler is the Audience Surrogate. Basically where meant to see the story through Wheeler's eye's, more or less.
There are seven planeteers.
The Australian and the Penguin (or member of a mysterious Antarctican native tribe), Lightning and Ozone respectively, are hanging out in Antarctica and filling the ozone layer back in, though not as quickly as it depletes (it has to be both, because Ozone is, in the lower atmosphere, most commonly found as a product of lightning). Only five planeteers are necessary, and only Heart is necessary to have a Captain Planet that didn't Come Back Wrong
. (This is one reason
why Heart is the most powerful of them all; it's the keystone power for activating the Captain Planet protocol). If one of the Planeteers was killed in the line of duty, then it would be possible to bring back one of the two reserve members until the regular could be replaced, at the cost of letting the hole in the ozone layer grow more quickly.
- Then why didn't they do anything when Duke Nukem and Leadsuit came to Antarctica to make the hole in the ozone layer larger? He had a whole factory set up there!
Hoggish Greedly is a former Ghostbuster.
Hoggish Greedly used to be a Ghostbuster catching ghosts with the likes of Peter, Egon, Ray, and Winston. It's already clear that, with The Real Ghostbusters
organization, species is not a barrier to entry.
After he left that job, he accidentally struck oil. His greedy ambitions, his morbid obesity, and his name-change started then. He had tagged along Rigger and constructed a mobile offshore oil rig to get more cash.
The evidence is clear from the first episode of the show, "A Hero For Earth". Hoggish Greedly fires toxic waste/crude oil at Captain Planet to get him out of the cockpit of the Landblaster. But he shoots it from a gasoline pump that's attached to a backpack-like container on his back. At the time, he was wearing a dull-colored outfit with loads of pockets, a pair of tall black leather boots, and he had on a belt with several belt cases on it. Clearly, when he left, he kept both the outfit and the equipment.
Verminous Skumm hates humanity for oppressing him.
A half-rat mutant who hates humanity, who once stated ("Belfast") that he's familiar with humanity's capacity for hate, and who often uses that hatred for his own plans. He was "born in a sewer" according to the official website. He has to hide his face whenever he goes around the surface. It's easy to imagine him as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds
, hated by humans his whole life until he felt the need to finally strike back.
Face it, the war between humans and rats has gone on for thousands of years.
Gaia and Zarm used to have a thing.
They broke up when she took a nap and he decided to kill off those pesky dinosaurs.
There was a penguin... but not any more.
Ma-Ti kept using Heart on the penguin. It quit, taking its ring with it. There was no Australian
The Australian existed and had the vacuum ring.
But since nature abhors a vacuum...
Someone or something has placed a Power Limiter
on the Fire Ring.
There is only one person on Earth
during the years of the show's run who could wield the Fire Ring as a good guy. One person among billions
— and he's not that nice a good guy. Clearly, someone has placed strict restrictions on who can use that ring.
It may be in the nature of the Ring. It is the Fire Ring, and fire is the original sin. There may be an upper limit
on how pure someone using the Fire Ring can be and still get it to work. This combined with the lower limit for being a good guy at all and the implied age limit for all ringbearers would limit Gaia's choices. Finding someone who would not be tempted to corrupt the holder of the Heart Ring would narrow it down still further.
Still, exactly one person among billions...
Since he's half-dead, he's not able to use the power of heart, and people became nastier.
There are five other kids with Power rings.
All of whom are Australian. (Antarctica has no human children.) There's an electricity kid, a metal kid, a nuclear kid, a magnetic kid, and a vacuum/death kid. Take the above WMGs into consideration, and you'll see why Gaia doesn't like them.
Seriously, what parent names their kid Sly Sludge? They must have been bullied relentlessly as kids, and everyone must have hated them. That is why they pollute for the sole purpose of being a douche.
The Heart Ring would've turned Wheeler into a male version of Sailor Moon
Wheeler is clumsy, ditzy and whiny almost as much as Serena/Usagi. Like her, he also had an I Just Want to Be Normal
wish granted, but took it back.
Sailor Moon's friends have elemental powers; her power is, basically, "Heart". Had Wheeler got the power of Heart, he would've become Sailor Moon!
If there is a sequel series, then the Planeteers will cross the Moral Event Horizon
in the first overpopulation episode.
But the writers will try to pass off basic decency as a Moral Event Horizon
Planeteer - Eco-villain correlations:
Linka- Duke Nukem; she's from the Ukraine, home of Chernobyl and the worst nuclear accident ever.
Wheeler- Verminous Skumm; both are city dwellers.
Ma-Ti- Looten Plunder; Ma-Ti has the Power of Heart, while Looten Plunder has no heart
Kwame- Sly Sludge; Kwame takes the long term view with ecology while Sly Sludge is short sighted
Gi- Dr Blight; Gi wants to be a good scientist, and Dr Blight is an evil scientist.
The Ecovillains are running a secret Evil Plan
Every effort of the Planeteers to fight the blindingly obvious ecological threats is time taken from fighting more subtle threats or from negotiating new non-superheroic solutions to existing problems.
The Eco Villians especially want to stop the Planeteers from spreading their solar powered technology.
Want to give that poor third world country solar roofs so they can all have electricity? Sorry, guys, Looten Plunder is going to turn Lake Michigan into a cesspool!
There were two more planeteers.
An Australian power of wood, and a girl from Atlantis with the power of Metal
Gaia got her claws into them before they could be contacted by their true parents and activated their dormant powers. They are now planning to use them to wipe out humanity, the source of the gods' power.
The Eco-villains are stereotypes because they're Gaia's choice targets. She hopes that continued exposure to them will eventually convince the Planeteers to take increasingly extreme measures to stop them, including genocide (it'll remove whatever groups the villains earn a profit from). Eventually, other, legit buisnesses will become targets in the Planeteers' pro-environment rampage.
Most living things don't tolerate pollution, but the villains thrive off it. They pollute, not For the Evulz
, but because a polluted world would be healthier for them. Their Card-Carrying Villain
status is just something they do to screw around with the Planeteers...
They are still villains. After all, they are (un)terraforming an inhabited planet in ways not compatible with the native life, and usually doing so to greater extremes than most of the natives.
- They're from a different planet. Their world is, by our standards, heavily polluted. To them, our toxins are vital. Their planet is becoming less habitable for them, so they are making a new home. They probably came from Venus, which is a highly toxic planet. That, or they are survivors of the planet Mars.
Several thousand years ago, Atlantis was destroyed when a team of Planeteers did a Face-Heel Turn
Fortunately, she was able to push the responsibility onto Poseidon.
They're both portrayed by Whoopi Goldberg
. We know that Guinan was on Earth during the late 19th century. It isn't a huge stretch of the imagination that she might have either stayed through the 20th century, or returned a century later.
The rings are sufficiently-advanced
, and their misuse is ultimately responsible for much of the destruction wreaked during the Eugenics Wars.
Plot: Sly Sludge, feeling particularly cheap/foolish, dumps a bunch of waste into Mount Etna, accidently awakening Typhon
, who then starts laying waste to the world. The Planeteers are then tasked with stoping Gaia's wayward child before it annihilates all life on the planet.
There is actually a good reason why Wheeler wound up with a ring.
All of the planeteers show an understanding of ecology and the environment. But Wheeler seems to be the only who understands humans and their cities
, which are part
of the environment, and a critical part at that. As noted, the part of the ecosystem controlled by humans has a disproportionate influence over the others. But, any suggestions to save the Earth by wiping out humanity (or even human culture) is going to be rejected by most of humanity even if we're doomed either way. (See the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008).
Wheeler's role isn't supposed to be to hold the Idiot Ball
, but to convert the unfeasible concepts of his fellow planeteers into solutions that work for cities and industries. But Wheeler is flawed in other ways, and the other kids tend to reject the good ideas with the bad, often with extreme prejudice. They are constantly neglecting a crucial part of their mission.
Ostracizing Wheeler = no compromise = no long-term solutions.
This is why the planeteers never seem to do anything that would truly help reduce waste and pollution in the world. The other four kids are out-of-touch with larger, more concentrated groups of humanity, since they all seem to come from rural or sheltered environments. Thus, they don't know what large cities need... And no, you can't just get rid of the large cities. Even if population control was put into effect immediately, there's still too much pre-existing population...
The other kids see pollution as the sole province of Jerkasses who do it for the Evulz. So far, most of the villains do
pollute for that reason, but one wonders what would happen if everyone decided to take on the 'verse's equivalent of General Electric. Anyhow, because they are ignorant of the needs of cities, they never think of how
to help. They rarely bother to talk to Wheeler about it because they class him as an 'ignorant human'.
The bearer of the Fire Ring has always been in charge of keeping the needs of civilization in balance with Gaia.
Fire does occur in "pristine" nature, yes, and there wouldn't be life on earth without the stuff it's made from. But it's not as ubiquitous or dramatic as water, earth, or air. And while most "Heart" forms need at least two of water, air, and earth all the time, they can coexist with the obvious forms of fire only on occasion.
Thus, most individual instances of fire, and most long-lasting instances of fire, in the age of humans have been made by humans to meed human needs and desires. Since humans are needed to make Captain Planet, their peculiar needs in the ecosystem must at least be considered.
This is why it's so hard to find bearers for the Fire Ring. Its bearer is to represent needs that even Gaia herself would rather not consider too closely.
The cartoon series takes place in the same universe as The Mask.
The basis for this guess is the shared link of Tim Curry and his characters in each cartoon. We know that prior to her facial scarring and insanity, Dr. Blight was once a good-natured scientist who worked with her lab assistant/husband Malcolm to create a computer AI. After the accident supposedly took Malcolm's life and left her insane, she reprogrammed the AI into her computer MAL and gave it Malcolm's face. What if Malcolm didn't die but had also been driven insane in the accident? Mask villain Pretorius sure looks a LOT like MAL, after all... and he was never given any sort of history in the series beyond the surgical removal of his own head to plant it onto a robotic body.
Think about it. How would humanity react if Gaia suddenly descended and cleaned the earth up all by herself? They'd learn nothing
. They'd keep polluting and expect Gaia to clean up after them again. By NOT cleaning up after them and mainly trying to help them learn to take care of the Earth, she's preventing them from expecting a goddess from cleaning up their mistakes. She's willing to give the Planeteers the power to help out the Earth, including Captain Planet if they run into danger, but she still wants humanity
to clean up it's own messes instead of relying on her to do it for them.
The Skaven are a race of rat-like, semi-humanoid beings who thrive on filth and decay while plotting the downfall of every other race in existance. They are untrustworthy, they are disgusting, and they tend to fail a lot because of their inborn cowardace. Skumm simply fell through a Warp rift and wound up on Holy Terra about thirty-eight thousand years before the "Current," series of events in 40K.
There will be a new TV Series.
plans for a film adaptation in the works, a new TV series wouldn't be unreasonable. Not to mention his appearance in a fighting game
- Considering all the reboot TV series that have been showing up, it's not too unlikely.
It would focus mainly on the Planeteers and give them more character development. Captain Planet will appear very little, if at all, and the show would just be called "The Planeteers". It would be darker and more violent, with people frequently being killed. The Planeteers will actually make use of their powers instead of standing around like whiny morons who give up easily and want Captain Planet to do all the work. Polluting factories would be blown up and the people running them would be tortured.
- It would be really cool to see a reboot as dark as Scooby Doo Reboot in Mystery Incorporated.
Over time people became so corrupted and held less regard for spirituality and bending that they lost their bending powers over time. Humans can no longer bend without magical aid, and the animals that could bend died out long ago.
The Australian had the Lightning ring and was kicked out of the Planeteers...
Because he thought Rock'N'Roll Wasn't Noise Pollution
Captain Planet and the Planeteers are the first wave of Gaia's Counterforce
And every time a team of Planeteers is defeated in a particularly dangerous way, Primate Murder lives up its name
The names of the Planeteers aren't their real names, but their titles.
Possibly as a Legacy Character
scenario, the 'first' Planeteers had those names and their successors assume those names in memory of the first ones. Hence why the female Gi has a boy's name and how Ma-ti eventually became an Indian man who fought Malachite
Zarm is a symbolic version of Satan
Zarm was stated to be the original spirit of Earth who left in search of other worlds. Given Zarm's anger at Gaia, it's doubtful he left willingly and was probably forced to leave after his actions caused more harm than good. Now, he returns to Earth as more of a spirit and tries to coerce humanity into doing horrible things via lies and false promises. Religion aside, the idea of a spirit like this is very creepy.
Think about it: Wheeler is American, and Linka was initially Soviet (later Ukrainian). Since the first and second seasons aired in 1990-91, Linka was using the Cold War tensions (which were already winding down by the time the first episode aired) as a excuse. Why there were no overt Cold War references or Linka insulting Capitolism are a mystery to this troper. Of course, after the collapse of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day 1991, tensions between the two cooled down and resulted in them kissing in the fourth season.
The Eco-Villains are trying to summon Hedorah the Smog Monster.
They worship Hedorah like a god, and are trying to summon him so they can pollute the world For the Evulz
. Of course, they forget that Hedorah holds no allegiences, would likely kill them, and Hedorah would pollute the Earth more than they wished, seeing as how several of them are not Omnicidal Maniacs
. And not even Captain Planet could stop Hedorah, and most importantly, Godzilla doesn't exist (unless Gaia creates him), so Hedorah would be unstoppable.