Friday, June 1, 2012

Reading Room: SPEED CARTER: SPACEMAN "Famous Explorers: Mercury"

Remember when, in 2005, we landed on Mercury?
Me neither.
But, it must have happened, since it's history!
Look! I'll prove it...
See?
Told ya!
Writer Hank Chapman and artists Bill Benulis & Jack Abel wouldn't lie to us!

Chapman, who wrote the entire Speed Carter series, apparently wanted to emulate writers like E.E. "Doc" Smith and Issac Asimov in creating a cohesive universe with an established backstory.
Today, it's more or less standard practice for any ongoing series in print, movies, or tv, but back then, it was far from the norm.
This story from Speed Carter: SpaceMan #2 (1953) references the previous Famous Explorers tale in it's first paragraph, mentioning James Carter and the exploration of Venus.
(Though saying Carter "discovered" Venus was inaccurate.)

Note: the astronauts in this story, which takes place three generations in the "past" of Speed Carter, have different uniforms and lower-end technology than what's shown in the Speed Carter tales.

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