Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Innovation Lost In Space

"Danger, Will Robinson!".  Trying to find out what happen to the crew of the Jupiter II, "Lost In Space" oh so many years ago?

Wonder no longer...as they did indeed finally make it to Alpha Centauri after their launch problem from October 16, 1997, but what a long strange trip it was!

It wasn't covered in the three seasons of Irwin Allen's Lost In Space on CBS (airdates from September 15, 1965 to March 6, 1968), but instead in Lost In Space comics put out by a company called Innovation starting in 1991...but even that wasn't so straight forward!

Innovation


Starting in August, 1991, was the first of the comics dedicated to the crew of the Jupiter II...John, Maureen, Penny and Will Robinson, Major Don West, Robot (B-9) and stowaway Dr. Zachary Smith (as Gold Key's previous comics weren't quite related to the TV series).  These comics even had as "mission control" Bill Mumy (who played young Will Robinson on the series) for the first twelve issues (and writer of #13-18, as well as Annual #2...and a little extra).

While one of the best selling series at Innovation (a company ahead of its time...basing much of its work on adaptations of licensed properties and putting in quite some effort into these books...it was always an uphill battle).  In advancing the plots of the original show (and aging the crew slightly), the portrayals of the younger Robinson women was at times considered risque...and a subplot of a romantic triangle with Don West and Judy and Penny was also introduced, as well as some of Dr. Smith's original more nefarious leaning were played up.

Still, the series continued along, with Bill Mumy taking over as writer with issue #13 (August, 1993, and starting a 12 issue mini-series subtitled Voyage to the Bottom of the Soul, a slight nod to another Irwin Allen series, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)...and artist Michal Dutkiewicz staying for the final run...except that the series ended with issue #18 (in November of 1993, with only part 6 of the 12 parts done!).  "Oh the pain, oh, the pain" was not only felt by Dr. Smith, but us all!  


Billy Mumy stated in Lost In Space fanzine Alpha Control in February, 1994..."It was very frustrating when Innovation went out of business in the middle of my story, Lost in Space is just this continual kind of tease to me.  I wrote this 12 part story that really resolved so many things I had been dying to resolve in Lost in Space over the years.  I juggled five different subplots all at once for this big payoff in the story and I was very proud of that piece of work.  It was selling fine, but Innovation had problems with other titles.  And after six issues were out, Innovation disappeared."

Innovation ended as a company on December 31, 1993, leaving the last 6 issues of Lost In Space (as well as the second of a 2 issue mini-series, Lost In Space: Project Robinson, focusing on the early life of Maureen and John Robinson) unpublished.

End of the Cliffhanger


Still, the story did eventually find its way out thanks to Bubblehead Publishing, which put out the 6 issues Innovation published, as well as the six issues that didn't come out in a graphic novel that came out in 2006 (copyrighted to 2005), finally allowing the Jupiter II crew to finish its trip (with a cover by John Severin)!


It was longer than a five year mission...but the goal of the Robinson's to make it to Alpha Centauri eventually got done, taking a few detours along the way...


 ....not unlike the series of Lost In Space itself!

Lost In Space Innovation Comic Guide


Lost In Space #1 (August, 1991)

Title: Seduction of the Innocent

Written by:  Matt Thompson & David Campiti
Art by: Eddy Newell & Mark Jones
Cover by: Mike Okamoto

Lost In Space #2 (November, 1991)

Title: The Cavern of Idyllic Summers Lost

Written by: George Broderick Jr.
Art by: Matt Thompson
Cover by: Jason Palmer



Lost In Space #3 (December, 1991)

Title: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Written by: Bill Mumy
Art by: Michal Dutliewicz
Cover by: Jerome K. Moore

Lost In Space #4 (February, 1992)

Title: People Are Strange...When You're A Stranger

Written by: Bill Mumy & Kevin Burns
Art by: Michal Dutliewicz
Cover by: Mike Okamoto

Lost In Space #5 (March, 1992)

Title: The Perils Of Penelope

Written by: George Broderick Jr.
Art by: Peter Murphey & Matt Thompson
Cover by: Mike Okamoto

Lost In Space #6 (May, 1992)

Title: In Unity There Is Strength

Written by: Terry Collins
Art by: John Garcia
Cover by: Mike Okamoto

Lost In Space Annual #1 (1992)

Title: Two Thousand Light Years From Home

Written by: Miguel Ferrer
Art by: Michal Dutkiewicz & Barb Kaalberg
Cover by: Joe Jusko

Lost In Space #7 (June, 1992)

Title: Don's Dilemma

Written by: Mark Goddard (Major Don West!)
Art by: Dan Day & David Day
Cover by: Mike Okamoto

Lost In Space #8 (August, 1992)

Title: Waxx & Wave

Written by: Matt Thompson
Art by: Matt Thompson
Cover by: Mike Okamoto

Lost In Space #9 (October, 1992)

Title: Giving Thanks

Written by: Bill Mumy
Art by: Michal Dutkiewicz
Cover by: George Perez

Lost In Space #10 (November, 1992)

Title: Afterthoughts

Written by: Karen May
Art by: Michal Dutkiewicz
Cover by: Jason Palmer

Lost In Space #11 (December, 1992)

Title: Memories Left Behind

Written by: Terry Collins
Art by: Bruce Jones, Steve Jones & Michal Dutkiewicz
Cover by: Jason Palmer

Lost In Space Annual #2 (1993)

Title:Whatever Happened To Baby Bloop?

Written by: Peter David & Bill Mumy
Art by: Michal Dutkiewicz & Jim Key
Cover by: Jill Thompson


Lost In Space #12 (April, 1993)

Title: The Price of Treason

Written by: Robert M. Ingersoll
Art by: Shane Glines & Matt Thompson
Cover by: Jason Palmer



Lost In Space #13 (August, 1993)

Title: Voyage to the Bottom of the Soul Part 1
Across The Universe

Written by: Bill Mumy
Art by: Michal Dutkiewicz
Cover by: Mike Deodato Jr.




Lost In Space #14 (September, 1993)

Title: Voyage to the Bottom of the Soul Part 2
Images of Broken Light

Written by: Bill Mumy
Art by: Michal Dutkiewicz
Cover by: Mike Deodato Jr.

Lost In Space #15 (August, 1993)

Title: Voyage to the Bottom of the Soul Part 3
They Tumble Blindly

Written by: Bill Mumy
Art by: Michal Dutkiewicz
Cover by: Mike Deodato Jr.

Lost In Space #16 (September, 1993)

Title: Voyage to the Bottom of the Soul Part 4
Shades of Earth

Written by: Bill Mumy
Art by: Michal Dutkiewicz
Cover by: Mike Deodato Jr.

Lost In Space #17 (October, 1993)

Title: Voyage to the Bottom of the Soul Part 5
Like A Restless Wind

Written by: Bill Mumy
Art by: Michal Dutkiewicz
Cover by: Mike Deodato Jr.

Lost In Space #18 (November, 1993)

Title: Voyage to the Bottom of the Soul Part 6
Change My World

Written by: Bill Mumy
Art by: Michal Dutkiewicz
Cover by: Mike Deodato Jr.

Lost In Space: Project Robinson #1 (November, 1993)

Title: It's A Secret, Just The Robinson's Affair

Written by: Christine Hantzopulous-Hunt
Art by: Mike Deodato Jr. & Luke Ross
Cover by: CW Taylor













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