Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Reading Room: ROBOTMEN OF THE LOST PLANET "Massacre of Mankind"

Before Terminator!
Before Magnus: Robot Fighter!
Before BattleStar Galactica (reboot)!
...humans were subjugated by the least-threatening robots ever seen (with the possible exception of Buck Rogers' Twiki)!
The art for this 1952 one-shot title from Avon Comics is by Gene Fawcette, an Avon mainstay who did everything from horror to Westerns to romance.
Perhaps the most unusual aspect of this tale is the scripter...Walter Gibson, aka "Maxwell Grant", the primary writer of the legendary pulp character, The Shadow!
Gibson, a trained magician-turned writer did very little "hard" sci-fi during his long career...except in 1951-54, where he edited (and wrote under several pseudonoms) most of the contents of Charlton's short-lived (2 issues) Fantastic Science Fiction pulp magazine, editing Charlton's Space Adventures comic for it's first 11 issues, as well as scripting several other one-shots for Avon Comics.
For the record, Gibson also wrote two volumes of adaptations of Twilight Zone TV episodes (with a couple of original tales mixed in), but none of those were sci-fi.

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