Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Has-Been, by Wally Wood

This Wally Wood story was published in Incredible Science Fiction #31, cover date October 1955. This comic was a continuation from Weird Science Fantasy. The recently adopted comics code forbid the use of the word "weird" in comic book titles. Incredible Science Fiction began with issue #30 and ran for four issues. This issue also features a nice cover by Jack Davis.

The story itself isn't that great, the vigor, weirdness, and grotesque aliens were being dialed back. But the art is vintage mid-1950's Wood. This story is filled with the artist's trademark hardware-packed ships and has some great space battle panels. The domestic scenes show Wood's skill at body language and rendering futuristic domestic scenes. I was talking to a comic book artist once who mentioned how much more difficult it can be to draw a person just standing there as opposed to a guy in blue tights flying through the air. I guess we're more used to seeing the former and have something to compare it to. This story has some great panels of the father and son just standing there. That is something I think is often overlooked in comic artists. Wally Wood was a real talent, and this story does a good job of showcasing his strong points.

It's just missing a girl in a tight space suit.

1 comment:

borky said...

"It's just missing a girl in a tight space suit."

Unless you're a paedophile!

Saying that, my first thought reading this was how prescient it was of what's actually starting to happen now, where the military're basically recruiting young hot shot video game players to operate their spy and attack drones in battle fields thousands of miles away from the operator's location.

Then I suddenly saw it from the point of view of, say, Wally Wood himself, a man like many young men of his time who'd not only participated in real life war situations but must've seen countless 18 year olds - and indeed much younger kids pretending to be 18 - killed for reasons they only vaguely understood at best.

In which case it might've struck him as a parody of how all leaders of every national, political, religious and ideological shade end up sacrificing on the altar of their obsessions precisely the children they claim to be building their brave new worlds for.