Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Number 2296: Planet Patrol smash the Toad-Men of Titan

The Planet Patrol, or what we can see of them, consists of a chief, then Captain Ken Keen and his girlfriend, Nirma. You know they are a couple when they show up before the commander looking like they are there for a wedding ceremony. Instead they get sent to Titan to avenge colonists who were inexplicably killed. I love how the commander tells Ken to take what men he needs, and Ken says he’ll just take Nirma, and the chief thinks that is just fine. Despite what I think is breaking whatever protocol they have in Planet Patrol, they don’t even give Nirma a uniform or fatigues. She has to go to another planet wearing a dress and heels.

The Toad-Men of Titan aren’t a very good looking bunch, and are trying to get rid of those settlers from Earth. This story was published in 1940, when it was the prerogative of some humans to go in and take over another country, without much worry about what happened to the indigenous population. The Toad-Men want to fight, but a “kind” Toad-Man wants to work with the Earth people. Big mistake! Humans have a sorry reputation of pushing weaker people aside — often killing them — then taking what they want. So for this story, I have to stand in support of those Toad-Men who are fighting to keep those Earth people away from what is theirs.

No writer or artist is given by Grand Comics Database for this tale of attempted colonization. The printing is in duotone, red and black, which was done in the early days of comic books to save some money. That type of story was soon taken over by comic books being done all in the four-color process. It was originally published in Silver Streak Comics #5 (1940).


Darci said...

Lev Gleason used the Binder studio, so that might narrow down the credits.

Next month, Captain Keen meets the Starfish Men! Also, Nirma feels faint!

Rick said...

Have to agree with you Pappy. I'm sure the Pilgrims told the Native Americans at the first Thanksgiving pretty much the same thing.

I have to admire Nirma's chutzpah. Chained to a wheel she defiantly dares a toad man to whip her. When it's obvious he will she screams for Captain Keen to help her...despite the fact he's chained up as well. Watch what you ask for Nirma!

Captain Ken Keen. Now that's alliteration.

Daniel [] said...

Indeed, this story captures a wide-spread ethos. The war that was underway in Europe and that the US was soon to join overtly wasn't between imperialists and anti-imperialists, but between states who limited their expansions to territories held by non-Europeans and those who felt that other Europeans too were fair game for such conquest. A broader, anti-imperialist and ant-racist rationalization was adopted in the wake of victory, largely for reasons of expediency.

Captain Keen's ability to defeat armed Titan aborigines when himself unarmed is an echo of similar abilities displayed in fiction by colonialist heroes clashing with human aborigines in other lands.