Friday, January 5, 2024

Remembering Artist Russ Manning

Remembering artist Russ Manning on his birthday (January 5, 1929 - December 1, 1981)...

...with a quick look at a serialized feature that ran in the back of Gold Key's Magnus: Robot Fighter series from February, 1963 to November, 1969...

...The Aliens.

The Aliens was a short feature following the adventures of Captain Johner and his crew in the far future, where they first encounter alien life.  At first adversarial, the crews of the ships learn to work together, with members of Johner's crew going off with the aliens, while Commander Zarz and 3 of his crew join Johner to face the unknown, including a group called the False Men.

Gold Key/Whitman reprinted chapters 1 and 3-10 twice, in the two volumes pictured above, once in September-December, 1967 and the second time in May, 1982.

Valiant gave readers two collections of The Aliens (though the covers were not by Manning), with the first containing the first 7 chapters, the second, the next 7 chapters in May, 1995.

Manning seems to have left the series after issue #22 (May, 1968).  Sadly, the original series ended on a cliffanger in issue #28 (November, 1969), with Johner, Zarz and new crew member M'Reema defeating a space wizard (but left with a lifeless planet Earth, covered in ice).


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