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Lost Worlds [comic]

Entry updated 21 November 2022. Tagged: Comics, Publication.

US Comic (1952). Standard Comics. Two issues, numbered #5 and #6 (see Fantastic Worlds for more information). Artists include Ross Andru, John Celardo, Jack Katz, Art Saaf and Alex Toth. Four comic strips and one text story per issue, plus one-page non-fiction strips and a cartoon strip.

In #5's opening story "The City that Escaped Tomorrow" a strange hoop of light appears in a quiet modern community; cavemen (see Origin of Man) bearing Ray guns step through (see Time Travel), paralysing passers-by: to escape, a young couple step through the hoop into the Stone Age (see Prehistoric SF), where they find a fifty-second-century City that fled a new ice age, whose Technology was pillaged by the cavemen. The inhabitants are awoken and matters are resolved – and we learn the city's new location will become Lemuria (see Theosophy). "Alice in Terrorland" reveals that the characters in the Alice books (see Lewis Carroll) were really Aliens. Other stories include Earth defeating chlorophyll-stealing Aliens, who are trying to save their world: each side sympathizes with the other and an agreement is reached. A Scientist sees a tiny civilization through his microscope (see Great and Small) and shrinks himself (see Miniaturization) to rescue a woman he has fallen in love with: his jealous girlfriend almost destroys the microworld, but decides not to: a fortunate choice, as it is Earth. The short story is "The Man Who Didn't Know Venus" by Jerome Bixby.

#6 is less interesting – In "Men and Fire" the Trojan Penal Colony (see Crime and Punishment) on one of Saturn's moons (see Outer Planets) gives convicts a chance to rebuild their lives: most do, but after being mutated by underground Rays that give them Superpowers, a small group rebels – but are easily overcome by the hero. Two very Clichéd stories follow: a space race (daughter and her lover pilot her inventor father's new spaceship that is his last roll of the dice) and a western in space (Sheriffs, Texas Rangers and Jesse James are name-checked in this tale of the Space Rangers). The final story is the strongest: "The First Man to Reach the Moon" (script by Otto Binder) takes place in 2021. The Rocket pilot, Kent, notices a flaw in the hull: not wanting to disappoint the professor who built it, nor his daughter, he swears the robot co-pilot to silence. The rocket lands on the Moon, but ruptures trying to depart. The daughter bewails her stranded love ... who then walks through the door. Kent explains the robot knocked him out and went on his own: "He loved me too, Gloria ... as much as you ... perhaps more." The Professor reflects the first man on the Moon was, in fact, a robot. The non-fiction strip is "Space Platforms – Way Stations of the Future!" about Space Stations orbiting the Earth. After mentioning the peaceful benefits for space exploration, astronomers, weather forecasting and Weather Control, it adds that they could be used to launch atomic missiles: "The first nation to set up a space platform could control the world!" [SP]

further reading

  • Fantastic Worlds and Lost Worlds (Hornsea, East Yorkshire: PS Publishing, 2017) [graph: collects issues #5-#7 of Fantastic Worlds and issues #5-#6 of Lost Worlds: illus/various: hb/John Celardo]

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