Captain Planet and the Planeteers' campaign to clean up the world came to an end when the four older teenagers began losing control of their powers. The rings backfired on several occasions, even causing a few environmental disasters. Eventually, the volatile behaviors of the rings caused Gaia to fall into a coma.
In an attempt to find out why the rings are malfunctioning, Ma-Ti used his Heart ring to probe the minds of the other Planeteers while they slept. Trekking through their unguarded psychic planes, Ma-Ti discovered a great deal of buried animosity and everybody had simply stopped believing in their cause. Ma-Ti's inexperience in this aspect of his power resulted in the dug up secrets being shared among everyone. A big fallout ensues, with the Planeteers using their powers against each other.
Realizing the opportunity to strike, Looten Plunder enlisted the help of several eco-villains who are still active to attack the island. The villains managed to destroy most of the island and her wildlife, among them Ma-Ti's pet monkey, Suchi. As the island is going down, the Planeteers combined their powers to call upon the help of Captain Planet. Their last hope for a savior was shattered as Captain Planet was now a combined totality of the Planeteers' corrupted psyches. After killing the villains within a fiery orb and destroying all five rings, Captain Planet went on to wreak havoc across the world, creating major earthquakes, tidal waves and volcanic eruptions.
With the world on the verge of destruction, the Planeteers came to the conclusion that killing Gaia would be the only way to stop Captain Planet as his powers originate from her. With thousands dying by the minute, the Planeteers tearfully set the comatose Gaia into the icy waters, drowning her. The plan seemed to have worked as the disasters across the world seized, although no one knows for sure if Captain Planet is truly dead. The horrific events forever scared the Planeteers and they decided to go their separate ways.
10 years have passed and the world is in its worst state ever. The Planeteers are now in their mid twenties, in different parts of the world. Kwame, now a police detective in Nigeria, finds his Earth ring hidden in a bag of cocaine during a drug bust. Upon putting on the ring, a psychic message informs him of the task he must take on immediately – Gather the Planeteers.