Feb 6, 2019

Quarter Bin - Planet Comics (1940)


Welcome back to the Quarter Bin where I talk about old, random comics. Today we're looking at Planet Comics from Fiction House, published from 1940 to 1953.

Planet Comics was a spinoff from the pulp magazine Planet Stories. It was the first all sci-fi comic. How cool is that? The featured stories were of the space opera genre which is the kind of sci-fi I really dig: spaceships, aliens, rayguns, and plenty of action. Plus, I'm really into the whole retro-future thing so this book is right in my wheelhouse.

Planet Comics #1 (1940)
I'm curious what the thought process was on the designs of these "helmets." Usually you have the fish bowl style helmets but here it covers the whole torso leaving the arms and legs exposed. My guess would be they thought it made sense to protect the lungs. I"m also guessing if these were a real thing, they'd make moving around really awkward.

Planet Comics #24 (1943)
While each issue was an anthology featuring different characters across multiple stories, the characters often made return appearances. I'm not going to get into different characters and storylines because as you might imagine, there were more than a few over the 73 issues, but you can read more about them on Wikipedia. As you can see here, they weren't afraid to switch up the damsel in distress trope for the cover because they also had capable heroines like Futura and Mysta of the Moon.

Depending on the page count of an issue, they would feature between 4-6 comic stories and sometimes a few pages of written fiction.

Planet Comics #52 (1948)
I picked this particular cover because the perspective is so weird. The guy in the bottom left looks like he's tiny but if he's as far away from the foreground as the monster, that thing must be ginormous! Even though there were strong space heroines, there was no shortage of good girl art in these books.

Planet Comics #64 (1950)
Here we've got your more traditional bowl helmets and jetpacks.
When all else fails, shoot the giant robot in the crotch!

I've read a few issues from the series 13 year run and they're a lot of fun if you enjoy the Flash Gordon/Star Wars type adventure in outer space. If you want to read them or even just check them out for the crazy covers and art, head over to the Digital Comic Museum and sign up for a totally free account. Once you have an account, you'll have access to way more Golden Age comics than you could probably ever read. You may get lost there for awhile, don't say I didn't warn you.

You can view them online or download to read at your leisure. You'll need a cbr/cbz file reader to view on PC. I use the free app CDisplay.

If you have an iDevice, you can grab the free app Chunky. Then just sync your device to your PC, go into file sharing, select Chunky then drag and drop the comics into the right pane.

4 comments:

  1. Cool comics! Interesting art work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Replies
    1. Iv'e raided that Digital Comics Museum site for so many sci-fi books I've never heard of just for the art.

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