Friday, February 17, 2017

Reading Room JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY "Return of the Martian!"

Yesterday we brought you "The Martian Who Stole My Body"...
...and now, we continue his saga with a never-reprinted adventure!
Hmmm.
A seemingly-invincible Martian invader who had no resistance to our Earthly diseases.
Sound familiar?
Yeah, those Martians.
And scattered about it, some in their overturned war-machines, some in the now rigid handling-machines, and a dozen of them stark and silent and laid in a row, were the Martians--_dead_!--slain by the putrefactive and disease bacteria against which their systems were unprepared; slain as the red weed was being slain; slain, after all man's devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth.
For so it had come about, as indeed I and many men might have foreseen had not terror and disaster blinded our minds.
These germs of disease have taken toll of humanity since the beginning of things--taken toll of our prehuman ancestors since life began here.
But by virtue of this natural selection of our kind we have developed resisting power; to no germs do we succumb without a struggle, and to many--those that cause putrefaction in dead matter, for instance--our living frames are altogether immune.
But there are no bacteria in Mars, and directly these invaders arrived, directly they drank and
fed, our microscopic allies began to work their overthrow.
Already when I watched them they were irrevocably doomed, dying and rotting even as they went to and fro.
It was inevitable.
--War of the Worlds by HG Wells
So, plotter Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, penciler Jack Kirby, and inker Dick Ayers, took a concept that had been done to death by the time this story appeared in Atlas' Journey into Mystery #58 (1960).
By all rights, it shouldn't work.
And it almost doesn't.
But Kirby's artwork saves it, gives it enoough OOOMPH to allow you to overlook the cliched ending.
Oddly, though Zetora's previous tale had been reprinted in the 1970s, this sequel has never been reprinted!
(Which might be just as well, since it'd be hard to explain him coming back from the dead...)
Perhaps to make up for that oversight, Marvel's Monsters Unleashed #3 does, give him a beautiful Francesco Francavilla cover...
Monsters Unleashed looks like a lot of fun, so get it at your local comic shop...NOW!
Please Support Atomic Kommie Comics!
Visit Amazon and Order...
Monsters Unleashed: Prelude
(which doesn't include either of Zetora the Martian's stories!)

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