Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Number 2328: The Maid of Mars is so hot sssshe ssssizzles!

A few weeks ago I showed a story drawn by Al Williamson I believe was intended for Buster Crabbe (the comic book), and sold instead to another publisher, where Buster was re-named Captain Comet. (Go to Pappy’s Number 2314 for that post.) Today I am featuring a genuine Buster Crabbe story, “Maid of Mars,” with art by Al Williamson and Roy Krenkel, as identified by the Grand Comics Database.

Martians apparently look just like human beings, but as the Maid tells Buster, they have no phonetic language. Instead, their vocals sound like sssssnakesss hissssssing. Despite the fact that the Maid speaks English to Buster and his old pal, Whiskers, which she learned from Earth’s radio, a sentence from her to one of her fellow Martians on page 8 is “SSS SS SS SS SSSSS!!

Because she is a woman, and Buster is a man of considerable charms, she falls for him. She helps Buster and Whiskers, and the whole human race, avoid the fate intended by the Martians. The story is from Buster Crabbe #5 (1952), published by Famous Funnies, and given some extra prominence with its ssssnazzy cover by Frank Frazssssetta.


Rick said...

So Miss Mars, as Buster calls her,betrays her people and sacrifices herself for a man she can never be with. I don't know if that was the most noble thing I've ever seen in a comic story or the most stupid.

And these Martians, who have been plotting the conquest of Earth apparently for centuries certainly give up easily. A couple get roughed up and the towel gets thrown in. "Our prisoners have conquered Mars" indeed despite the fact they merely have to wait for their oxygen to run out. Of course that doesn't happen because of Miss Mars complete betrayal of her people for a guy she likes. Hoo boy! Such male conceit displayed by the writer of this mess.

The artwork on, the other hand, is top rate.

Darci said...

Interesting that Earthlings can't breathe the thin air of Mars, but Martians have no problem breathing ours.

I don't know which strikes me as more odd, that Buster never bothers to ask Miss Mars' name or that she never offers it?

What a downbeat ending! "So long, I'm off to commit suicide..." I suppose she didn't want to end up on a dissecting table on Earth.

Smurfswacker said...

The story title lettering sure looks like Wally Wood.

Pappy said...

Smurfsmacker, yes, it does. For me the problem is that nothing else in the story looks like Wood's work. Maybe he just did the title and left, or someone did it in his style.

Pappy said...

Rick, if you've watched the Flash Gordon serials with Buster Crabbe you know that exotic alien women threw themselves at him. The guy was not only a stud, he was an interplanetary stud! I think that notion carried over into this comic book story.

Pappy said...

Darci, Buster must've had a powerful effect on women. Read my note to Rick.

If Buster had asked her name she would have answered, "Ssss Sssssss," and he would have said what in return? "Miss Mars" sounds okay considering the circumstances. Or Misssss Marsssss might have been more appropriate

Suicide does seem drastic considering they haven't spent any real time together.