Thursday, May 26, 2016

Find The Strange Adventures Of Captain Comet

Captain Comet was a mutant, born 100,000 years ahead of his time (or over a decade before that group of kids and their professor came out as mutants against a magnetic menace...).

Adam Blake first appeared in Strange Adventures #9 (June, 1951) by writer John Broome, penciller Carmine Infantino and inked by Bernard Sachs, complete with his origins...though later tales would be drawn by Murphy Anderson, and inked by Sy Barry, with Gil Kane and Sy Barry finishing the art on the series in Strange Adventures #49 (October, 1954).


....where to find those thrilling 1950s tales of space-bound, super-heroic action with Captain Comet, his friend Professor Emery Zachro and lady librarian Lucy Torrence?

Well, continue on.....

Strange Adventures #14

First up on this ride is Strange Adventures #14 (November, 1951) and it is a "Destination Doom" by writer John Broome and artist Murphy Anderson, where Captain Comet was taken off Earth in his alter ego of Adam Blake (looking like an average man) by aliens, who deposit their prisoners on planet FV 782 to be slaves to the robots there who lost their living inhabitants.  Captain Comet destroys the power source of the robots, then makes a spaceship to take his fellow captives home.

This story was reprinted in DC Super-Stars #4 (June, 1976), along with reprints of adventures of Adam Strange and Space Ranger, all under an Ernie Chan cover.

Strange Adventures #17

"Beware The Synthetic Men" was the warning given in Strange Adventures #17 (February, 1952) by writer John Broome, penciller Murphy Anderson and inker Joe Giella, where Captain Comet faces off against five Synthetic Men, artificial humans created by the army that the army lost control over.  Finding his mental powers don't work on this menace, Captain Comet is forced to use his brain to think of a way to defeat this menace, and prevent them from making more of their kind!

This story was reprinted in DC Super-Stars #6 (August, 1976) along with reprints of stories with Adam Strange, Tommy Tomorrow and the Space Cabby!

Strange Adventures #22

With Strange Adventures #22 (July, 1952), things get in order, thanks to "The Guardians Of The Clockwork Universe" by writer John Broome, penciller Murphy Anderson and inker Sy Barry.  Captain Comet is enlisted by the Guardians of the Universe (not related to but extremely similar to the Guardians of the Universe that mentored the Green Lantern Corps).  They send Captain Comet to the planet Lukan, whose rulers plan on moving their planet, which would throw the cosmos into chaos, meeting with his old friend, Radea, a female evolutionary mutant that the captain had met before, and frees her from the rulers of Lukan while stopping their plan, then returns her to her home planet.

This story is reprinted in World's Finest Comics #204 (August, 1971), with a cover by Neal Adams and Dick Giordano, that features a Superman/Wonder Woman team-up and in the Mysteries In Space: The Best Of DC Science Fiction Comics book of October, 1980, along with the origin of the Martian Manhunter, and stories of the Space Museum, Space Cabby, Star Hawkins, Tommy Tomorrow, the Atomic Knights, the Star Rovers, Space Ranger and Adam Strange with a cover by Murphy Anderson featuring Adam Strange facing a flying gorilla!

Strange Adventures #28

Strange Adventures #28 (January, 1953) is the next Captain Comet story to be reprinted, with the "Devil's Island In Space" by John Broome and Murphy Anderson, but this story has a twist....Earth is picked by the aliens of Lamia as a place to put its criminals, and Captain Comet has to stop the invisible alien crooks from escaping, using a stolen hydrogen bomb to power the spaceship they are building.  The captain stops the criminals, returning them to their homeworld, warning the rulers there that Earth is not as backward as they thought, and not to use the planet as a prison.

This story was reprinted in the Greatest 1950s Stories Ever Told hardcover of 1990 with a cover by Joe Kubert and tradepaperback in 1992.

Strange Adventures #31

It's a real War of the Worlds in Strange Adventures #31 (April, 1953) by writer John Broome, penciller Murphy Anderson and inker Joe Giella, as Captain Comet becomes part of a re-enactment of Orson Wells' famous radio broadcast, but this time, it is for real, as real martians have replaced the actors in "Lights, Camera -- Invasion".  Captain Comet must break free from the aliens who have taken him captive and prevent them from taking over the Earth!

This story was reprinted in the Pulp Fiction Library: Mystery In Space tradepaperback of 1999, under a cover by Mitch O'Connell, and features many great science fiction stories, including tales of Tommy Tomorrow, Chris KL-99, Knights of the Galaxy, Space Cabby, Star Hawkins, Adam Strange, the Star Rovers, Space Ranger and Ultra the Multi-Alien!

Strange Adventures #34

With Strange Adventures #34 (July, 1953), you have a choice..."The Lady Or The Tiger Man" (by John Broome and Murphy Anderson).  Captain Comet discovers a new planet, ruled by an evil dictator, Esklon, who also has mental powers.  The captain frees the Tiger-Man, who then battles with him, until Esklon shoots him, revealing that it was the Tiger-Man who was the dictator, controlling him with his own mental powers.  Captain Comet frees the girl, Rana, who is Esklon's sister, and takes her with him to Earth.

This story is reprinted in Superman #244 (November, 1971) along with a new Superman story, and a Superman of 2465 reprint, all under a cover by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson!

Strange Adventures #38

The last of the reprinted Captain Comet tales is Strange Adventures #38 (November, 1953) is "The Seeing-Eye Humans" by John Broome and Murphy Anderson, wherein Captain Comet and other humans are taken captive by aliens who take them to another planet, Reyna, whose inhabitants have been blinded by a nova from a nearby star.  Captain Comet helps lead the captives to freedom and tells the people of Reyna that they will adapt to being blind, and must make it on their own.

This story is reprinted in Justice League of America #60 (February, 1968), the story where Batgirl works with the JLA against the outer space menace of Zazzala, the Queen Bee (beautifully depicted in this cover by Murphy Anderson).

Now, some of these reprints are old as well...and DC was planning a Captain Comet Archives (announced in December of 2012 for August of 2013), but sadly, the Archive program ended before this book could be published (which would have included all of Captain Comet's Strange Adventures and his first 4 tales from the Secret Society of Super-Villains #2 to #5 from the 1970s; though maybe they could have included the tale of Captain Comet teaming up with Tommy Tomorrow to face dinosaurs and Chronos instead?).

One can only hope that DC will find a way to collect the original tales of Captain Comet in the future....

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