The world ended.
But not by nuclear war, since a Doomsday Machine that would destroy the planet if any atomic explosion was detected, ended even testing of nuclear bombs!
Instead, a European power (implied to be Communists) manage to re-direct two meteors to strike Earth, ideally affecting only the USA!
Unfortunately, an attempt to divert the meteors using missiles results in the space rocks fragmenting and hitting all over the planet, creating devastation on an unparalleled scale!
With the Earth apparently doomed, a pair of astronauts in orbit, believing themselves the only survivors, decide to head for the nearest habitable planet...Venus!
But they don't know people have survived...but not unscathed!
Scientific note: In mid-1967, it wasn't yet known that Venus was covered with clouds of sulfuric acid and the surface was barren, so heading for it instead of Mars wasn't unreasonable.
As this issue’s “Postscripts From The Editor” (Dick Giordano) explains: “This issue may reach the stands a little late.
We had an entirely different issue ready for press, cover and all, and lost it on a legality.
We then had to get this one together in a big hurry.
We’ve always liked the idea of a black and white comic book but have been afraid of doing one in a format where everyone else is in four color.
So we mixed it up in this one! Some four color, some black and white. We like it…do you?"
The “we” was writer Denny O'Neil (under a pseudonym) and artist Pat Boyette, who produced the entire 25-page tale from concept to script to camera-ready art and color guides in less than a week!
Boyette did all the penciling, inking and lettering.
Rumor has it that O'Neil also assisted with the color guides.