Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Reading Room UNCANNY TALES "Escape from Mars"

Here's a never-reprinted sci fi/horror tale from the 1950s...
...from a Weird Science/Tales from the Crypt clone!
Illustrated by Joe Sinnott (best known as the inker for a large part of the Fantastic Four's Silver and Bronze Age run), this tale from Atlas' Uncanny Tales #15 (1953) actually has a scientific basis (sort of) for the conclusion!
The Perseid Meteor shower occurs every late summer/early autumn.
The unknown writer of the tale took advantage of that ongoing event to anchor this rather fanciful story in reality.
But, in doing so, the scripter made a major mistake!
Since Mars is much further from the Sun than the Earth, it takes longer (about 1.88 "Earth years") for the Red Planet to orbit the star called Sol!
Unless the Martian calendar's "year" is less time than a complete orbit around the Sun (as ours is), their "September" and ours wouldn't coincide on an annual basis!
Plus, as a morality tale, the story fails miserably!
Spiro (who killed to get the ticket) and his wife, Cinda, get what's coming to them.
But all the other Martians on board the ships are, as far as we know, innocent!
They don't deserve to die!
And Dictator/Scientist Vleben will continue to murder the surplus population without punishment!
One of the great things about the EC Comics sci-fi/horror line was that justice, however bloody and gruesome, was always served!
However, the many clones, like this one, simply "went for the jugular" without the emotionally-satisfying balancing of the scales of justice!
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