Tuesday, October 2, 2012

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

Now, this is one mean-looking robot...
...and he's plastic instead of the traditional metal!
(But wouldn't that make him an android instead of a robot?)
The toothy robot looks a lot like The Phantom mechanoid from the 1930s movie serial The Phantom Creeps...
...which, in 1953, had just been edited into feature film format and syndicated to local tv stations!
Coincidence?
BTW, The design for The Phantom was so unique that, unlike most other robots of the era, he never appeared in another live-action movie, either in new or stock footage!
However, Rob Zombie loved the robot so much he built a duplicate, which has appeared on-stage during his concerts and in the video for his single, "Dragula"
Zombie also "recast" The Phantom as Murray the Robot, transformable cybernetic aide to Susi-X in his animated feature Haunted World of El Superbeasto!
He didn't have that gun in Phantom Creeps!

This story from Speed Carter: SpaceMan #5 (1953) is written (like all the Speed Carter-related tales) by Hank Chapman, and illustrated by Bill Savage, an artist who entered comics during the boom in 1944 and exited in 1954 when comics were almost destroyed by the Fredric Wertham-led witch-hunt blaming comic books for rampant juvenile delinquency.

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