Saturday, January 23, 2021

Space Force Saturdays SPACE SQUADRON & SPEED CARTER: SPACEMAN "Famous Explorers of Space" Part 3

Both Atlas' Space Squadron and Speed Carter: SpaceMan had "future history" features...
...covering from the then-present (1950s) to the future (early 2000s) as this tale about the first manned ICBM in 1961 (yes, 1961) demonstrates!
The writer of this tale from Atlas' Space Squadron #3 (1951) is unknown, but the artist is Werner Roth.
The Famous Explorers of Space feature ran in all five issues of Space Squadron and the single issue of Space Worlds that used up material left homeless when Space Squadron was cancelled.
When Speed Carter: SpaceMan came along a couple of years later, writer Hank Chapman ignored everything done in Space Squadron, producing stories that often contradicted "history" established in the earlier series...
In 2004, we reached Venus and Mercury!
Then, in 2007, men reached another planet...
You do remember this stuff, don't you?
It was only a few years ago!
Didn't quite work out that way, did it? 
This story from Speed Carter: SpaceMan #3 (1953) references the previous Famous Explorers tales in its' first paragraph, mentioning the explorations of Venus and Mercury.
Written by Hank Chapman, and illustrated by Al Eadeh.
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.
Space Squadron also presented "future history tales" about the guy who was young, hotshot Jet Dixon's crusty Commander-in-Chief when he was a young hotshot pilot...
...rocketing thru the Solar System in the 1970s!
(Yes, I said 1970s!)
While the writer for this never-reprinted tale from Atlas' Space Squadron #3 (1951) is unknown, the artist should be familiar to Speed Carter: SpaceMan fans...Joe ManeelySpeed's designer/co-creator and primary illustrator for the first half of his run!
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(under the pen-name "Paul French") 
Omnibus of ALL Six Space-Opera Sagas!
David Starr: Space Ranger, Pirates of the Asteroids, Oceans of Venus, Big Sun of Mercury, Moons of Jupiter, Rings of Saturn

Friday, January 22, 2021

Friday Fun JETTA OF THE 21st CENTURY "My Cosmic Hero"

With hope that the CoronaVirus pandemic will start winding down soon...
...let's look at a typical evening at the drive-in (whose popularity has soared due to the aforementioned pandemic), supposedly set in the early 21st Century (aka NOW) presented in 1952!
(I'm still waiting for my flying car!)

If the art style looks familiar, it's the work of Dan DeCarlo, who helped establish the iconic "look" of Archie Comics!
Dan actually started at Atlas Comics (the 1940s-50s predecessor to Marvel Comics) doing a variety of humor strips before beginning a long-term run on various Archie titles in 1951.
Even then, he continued to work for a number of other publishers, including Standard Comics, who asked him to create, write, and illustrate a teen-humor series.
(Every publisher had at least one of them!)
Exactly whose idea it was to set it in the "far future" of the early 21st Century is unknown, but the resultant strip, though extremely derivative of Archie, was unique in the teen-humor genre for it's Jetsons-style setting and "futuristic" slang.

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Dan DeCarlo's Jetta

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Reading Room FANTASTIC WORLDS "Triumph Over Terror"

What if a science fiction writer was the hero of a sci-fi tale?
And, what if the scribe was, initially, just as ignorant of the situation as any other protagonist in such a tale?
This tale from Standard's Fantastic Worlds #5 (1952) was drawn by Alex Toth and John Celardo, though, ironically, the writer is unknown.
BTW, though it's #5, this is actually the first issue of the title!
There was no #1-#4, which was a pretty standard practice for the publisher during the late 1940s-early '50s!!
The publisher felt the audience would be more accepting of a book they believed was established and already had four issues out.
After all, they had no way of finding the "previous" issues!
Newsstands and drugstores just shipped back the previous month's comics (and other magazines) to the distributor!
No comic shops stocking back issues!
No internet they could search!
Trivia: the cover of the comic the kid is holding on page 1... a variation of the cover (rendered by the story's inker, John Celardo) of the actual issue this story appears in!
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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder LOST WORLD "Wolf in the Fold"

It's the End of the World, and a scrappy bunch of freedom fighters battle alien invaders...

...but don't worry, the story itself will explain what you need to know!
Will Frok destroy Hunt, Lyssa, and their Scooby Gang?
Or will the inept alien kill himself?
And, has Bruce learned archery (presuming Hunt made a bow for him)?
The Answers to Some of These Questions Will be Found...
Next Wednesday!
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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Reading Room LOST WORLDS "Man Who Didn't Know Venus"

Nedor/Better/Standard Comics produced several sci-fi anthologies...
...none of which lasted more than three issues.
But it certainly wasn't due to lack of quality.
With a contributor list that included Alex Toth, Ross Andru, Mike Sekowsky, Nick Cardy, and Jack Katz, you're talking some of the great and soon-to-be-great storytellers of comics history!
But, there was one other sci-fi creator who did a story for Lost Worlds, one of only four tales he did for comic books.
Jerome Bixby, novelist and short-story writer, as well as screenwriter whose credits include...
IT! the Terror from Beyond Space!
Fantastic Voyage
Star Trek "Mirror, Mirror"* and "Day of the Dove"
and the short story "It's a Good Life" which was adapted on both the original Twilight Zone tv series (by Rod Serling) and the 1983 feature film (by Richard Matheson).
BTW, around the time he wrote this, Bixby had just left his position as editor of the Planet Stories pulp magazine at Fiction House, where he also contributed a couple of text pieces to Planet Comics and Indians (his only non-genre text story)!
BTW, let me know if the type at this size is readable or not.
*The Mirror Universe created by Bixby in "Mirror, Mirror" has proven to be so popular that the plot has reappeared in over half of the spin-off series spanning almost all of Federation and StarFleet history!
And let's not get into the numerous (and sometimes contradictory) novels and comics about the concept...

Monday, January 18, 2021

Monday Madness THE STAND: NIGHT HAS COME "Finale" Part 1

This is the conclusion of the mega-adaptation of Stephen King's mega-novel.

Read no further if you don't want to know how the book ends!
OTOH, if you want to see how it compares to the ending of the CBS All-Access mini-series, jump in!
To Be Continued

Previously, we brought you the opening chapter of the multi-miniseries adaptation HERE!
Now that the TV mini-series is airing, we thought now would be the right time to present the finale so you could contrast-and-compare!
Trivia: Marvel needed six mini-series from 2008 to 2012 to adapt the 1990 revised and expanded edition of the already-massive 1978 novel!
Randall Flagg, a character who appears in many of King's stories, unifying them into one "multiverse", makes his debut in The Stand novel.
But, in comics, he premiered in Marvel's Dark Tower adaptation, which was published before The Stand!

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collecting all six miniseries and the SketchBook plus an exclusive Companion in one huge HTF and OOP two-volume slipcased set!