Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Classics - Mystery in Space #70

So when I was in Junior High School, one of the students brought his science project to our Science Class.

It was a large flat disc that projected sideways from a little mechanism. As it spun around, it created sparks of static electricity.

It was impressive. I took a look at it and said, "You built a Wimshurst Machine."

He was stunned. He asked, "How did you know what it was?"

I lied and said I'd seen a picture of it somewhere - because I didn't want to admit that I'd read it in a comic book. (By Junior High, kids were supposed to be too old for comics.)

To be exact, I'd seen it in a recent reprint of Mystery in Space #70, which starred Adam Strange. (The reprint was an issue of Strange Adventures, as I recall - but above I've posted the cover as printed in the second Adam Strange Archives collection.)

The beauty of the comics that Julius Schwartz edited was that they usually included some actual science facts along with the usual action and adventure - and that was especially true in the Adam Strange stories, since that hero had no super-powers, and was forced to defeat an assortment of monsters, aliens and evildoers with only his wits and ingenuity.

When faced with the attack by an alien Dust Demon, Strange discovers its weakness and sets a trap using a Wimshurst machine - which writer Gardener Fox helpfully explains.

So in addition to the exceptional art by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson, readers actually learned about science. Is it any wonder that this series was my favorite?

(What can I say? I was a science nerd.)

Grade: A

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1 comment:

Dwayne said...

Ahhh yes! Infantino and Anderson. It this current day where so much art looks like everyone else's, I look back with longing at the days where an artist's work was distinct.