- Complete Monster: Randall Dowling is the leader of The Four, an evil analogue of The Fantastic Four. Having made contact with another world, Dowling plans to assist it in conquering Earth in exchange for power. For decades, he has kept Earth's technology at its current level by withholding or suppressing discoveries that could eradicate disease—including the cure for cancer—and save countless lives. in addition, Dowling locates children with budding technological skill able to advance humanity. He has their families killed in "accidents", before tormenting and brainwashing the kids into using their talents to stifle humanity's growth, with bombs planted in them in case anyone tries to rescue them. Using the Red Scare as a threat, Dowling also creates "City Zero", where suspected "spies" are rounded up and subjected to inhuman experiments, kept alive in horrible agony for Dowling's purposes. To store his experiments and weapons, Dowling also wiped out all life on a planet, just to ensure it was freed for storage. Treating his fellow members of the Four as disposable as well, Dowling's only care is for his own ego, advancement and power, no matter how many worlds he sacrifices.
- Inferred Holocaust: If one considers the series to be in continuity with the post-Ellis Authority. It also goes against the surprisingly definite Happy Ending in Planetary, so it's safe to say nobody really worries about it.
- Magnificent Bastard: Elijah Snow.
- Nightmare Fuel: City Zero, a secret American concentration camp that did human experimentation on select political dissidents.
- Spiritual Adaptation: Many consider the Planetary/Batman crossover to be the unofficial, much better version of All-Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder, due to perfectly summing up the character in a similar, reconstructive way as All-Star Superman.
YMMV / Planetary