Friday, August 06, 2010
Science Fiction Week: Calling Fluneron!
Science Fiction Week at Pappy's concludes with this well done but familiar Gardner Fox-Dan Barry story from Strange Adventures #3, 1950, "The Stranger From the Stars."
It's familiar because of the elements, a shape-shifting alien masquerading as human, and the threat of nuclear weapons being used on American cities. On August 6, 1945, 65 years ago today, the world found out the theory of atomic weapons had become reality. By the time the cold war set in Americans were feeling vulnerable to nukes being used on us. The plot device of nuclear bombs planted in cities, poised to go off, has been used so much it's hackneyed. And yet it's a genuine threat. Not like shape-shifting aliens.
I could go on and on about aliens looking like humans. How many times has science fiction used that particular device? It reaches down into our primal fears. How many people have had a whiff of paranoia--or even full-blown and delusional--and thought they were the only one who is "real"?* Scientifically it's nonsense, but Fox gives a stab at an explanation in this story as to how the alien does it.
The artwork by Dan Barry is what I'd expect, great. Barry had a very slick style and used comic books as a stepping stone to syndicated comic strips.
*And that would be me! You're all aliens pretending to be human, aren't you? I'm the only one who's real.