Friday, April 18, 2014

Number 1561: Hidden people

Having had a close relative, now deceased, who “saw” invisible people I can tell you that those hallucinations can be very real to the person having them.

In this story from Strange Adventures #13 (1951), Scott, our main character, sees invisible people after an eye surgery. Really sees them. That’s because in fantasy and science fiction we accept as literal the extraordinary things happening to the characters. Yet when reality touches fiction, people would react to someone seeing invisible people as the extras do here, by assuming the person seeing said invisible aliens from Venus to be mentally ill. And how do we know they aren’t correct — perhaps Scott Fulton is hallucinating, and we are just seeing what he thinks he sees? Well, because this is a comic book, that’s why.

One thing bothers me, though. At the end of the story Scott is married to the invisible girl from Venus. So who conducted the ceremony? “I now pronounce you husband and, errrrr...uh...invisible wife.”

Story written by Edmond Hamilton using the pseudonym Hugh Davidson, pencils by Bob Oksner with inks by Bernard Sachs.


Brian Barnes said...

Pappy, spoilers!

Stories like this always bring up how nearly impossible it would be to remain undetected if invisible. Can you imagine walking around in a major city without bumping into anybody? To walk unto a bus without making a noise? Without the bus dropping a bit, squeezing in before the doors close behind the visible person?

And, really, shadow boxing? What about when they haul him away, is he shadow being hauled by nothing?

Pappy said...

Brian, just crossing a street would be a big problem for an invisible person. Also, dogs could still pick up the scent. A cough, sneeze or even the sound of breathing would quickly give away an invisible person.

Waaaaa...I just ruined my favorite fantasy for myself!

Daniel [] said...

Perhaps The doves of Ishtar wedded them! Or maybe it was a common-law marriage (which seems to have been legally recognized in more states in 1951 than to-day).

Pappy said...

Daniel, I assume common-law marriage was more, well, common, in days past because for one, of the problems of finding clergy on the frontier. No government, no license, and no preacher to say the words. My memory of that was when I read years ago that people just got together and for all intents and purposes considered themselves married.

Documentation of official acts like birth, marriage, death were sometimes just impossible.

mandy pendragon said...

I'll take 'Communist Allegories' for 500, Pappy!

Daniel [] said...

I'm sure that's correct.

But states have continued to eliminate legal standing for common-law marriage even as social attitudes about sexual morality have become not merely more tolerant but more accepting of people living together without marriages performed by church or by state. (I b'leeb that the reason for that elimination is that the federal and constituent states have become ever more involved in providing benefits and legal privileges to those married.)

BillyWitchDoctor said...

Not to mention that she'd quickly go insane from her inability to interact with anyone besides her hubby. Did men--DO men--honestly believe all a woman needs in her life is a dude to serve? And God help her if she needs medical treatment.

And the children! The semi-transparent children! Won't someone please think of the see-through children?!

Oh, that last panel. Sure, different times and all that and yes, I am acting like a three-year-old about it, but the two men are so fancy and prim (and close) that the irony is too painful/funny to ignore.

Pappy said...

Billy, I assume you are referring to both "fancy, prim (and close" men using the word "queer."

We're not making judgments, though. We're just sayin'.

Pappy said...

Daniel, we probably just have to look at the court fights over same sex marriage to prove your parenthetical belief. My thought is that in some states while cohabitation and sex acts between consenting adults in private are acceptable, no matter the sexes of the participants, to grant same sex couples the benefits and privileges of a legal, state-recognized marriage seems to be stepping over a line of acceptability.