Saturday, May 1, 2021

FCBD Delayed...But Not Space Force Saturday SPACE SQUADRON "Ring of Flame!"

Usually, the first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day...

...but this year, due to Covid-19, it's been moved!
So, let's dive into this week's Space Force Saturday...which won't be pre-empted today, but will be on August 14th!
I suspect Atlas was trying out a new colorist on this never-reprinted tale from Space Squadron #4 (1951)!
Otherwise, with all respect to penciler/inker Werner Roth, it's not a particularly-memorable tale.
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Friday, April 30, 2021

Friday Fun RIOT "Mother Goosepimple's Nursery Rhymes"

Atlas Comics' numerous 1950s MAD comic clones...
...gave their creatives a chance to flex their artistic muscles in ways rarely-seen by their readers!
This never-reprinted short from Atlas RIOT #5 (1956) gave amazingly-versatile artist Joe Maneely a chance to show his humorous side.
OTOH, writer/editor Stan Lee was already well-known for his snarky prose.
This was the first installment of what was intended to be an ongoing feature.
A second Mother Goosebumps appeared in the next (and last) issue.
You'll see that one next Friday.
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Thursday, April 29, 2021


"What are Saturn's rings made of?"
Writer/artist Jeffrey Jones had a better question...What if it wasn't what we thought it was?
Jones' short tale in David Jablan Publishing's one-shot fanzine Imagination (1971) offered a cool explanation.
Remember, the first probe to pass near Saturn, Pioneer 11, didn't do so until 1979!
While it was theorized that ice and rocks made up the rings, there was no way to verify it!
So the tale, though improbable, was not unreasonable!
By the time Pacific Comics reprinted the story in their anthology Jeffrey Jones: Ravens and Rainbows (1983), several probes (including two Voyagers) had done flybys and analysis.
Sadly, they didn't find a Sargasso Sea of Space...
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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Wednesday Worlds of Wonder LOST WORLD "Atomic Secrets"

Reunited with Bruce, the VoltaMan with an implanted human's brain...

...Hunt Bowman and Lyssa continue their crusade against the alien conquerors of Earth as they establish communications with others...
Hey, Hunt...Bruce, who was put in suspended animation before the Volta invasion, could probably have figured it out!
Ah, well...too late, since we won't see Bruce again!
And more changes are coming to The Lost World...
Next Wednesday!

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Reading Room JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY "Man on the Endless Stairway!"

A never-reprinted Stan Lee-Steve Ditko Silver Age tale?
Most would think it's easier to find a unicorn or an honorable Republican!
But we found it!
When Mighty Thor debuted in Journey into Mystery #83, the sci-fi/fantasy tales that filled the book were shifted to the back of the book where almost all of them were forgotten, even to Marvel's reprint editors!
This is one of those tales.
It hasn't been seen since it initially-appeared Marvel's Journey into Mystery #87 (1962)!
Pity, since it's a prime example of both writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko's almost-effortless mastery of their respective crafts!
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(The most recent volume in the series)

Monday, April 26, 2021

Monday Mars Madness UNKNOWN WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION "Martian Odyssey"

Unlike Edgar Rice Burroughs' and Edwin L Arnolds' earlier swashbuckling "scientific romances"...

...Stanley G Weinbaum's tale was the first true "science fiction" story about humanity's exploration of Mars!
This never-reprinted adaptation from Marvel's Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction Giant-Size Special #1 (1976) was scripted by Don Glut and illustrated by Jess Jodloman (misattributed to Yandoc, who rendered a different story in the issue)
Note: Those who consider H G Wells' novel The War of the Worlds and the prequel short story "The Crystal Egg" to be the first Mars science fiction stories should remember...
1) Both are set on Earth.
2) Neither involves humans on Mars.
Now, I'm sure a lot of you (especially those under 40) are asking...
Who is Stanley G Weinbaum?
Why is he so important in the history of science fiction (consider that this tale was voted the Second Best Short Story of All Time)?
And why don't we know about him?
The answers to these (and several other questions) will be found in the next exciting installment of...
(Next Monday, in case you didn't guess!)
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