§ July 12th, 2004 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on

Oh, okay, I suppose I couldn’t leave you hanging with just the cover:

from Strange Adventures #156 (Sept 1963) by Gardner Fox & Sid Greene

Astronomy professor (and former Korean War soldier) Bill Smathers is having a reunion with fellow veterans from the war when suddenly, a duplicate of the planet Saturn materializes around his head!

The “planet” proceeds to start shooting bolts of energy, like what you saw on the cover there…but instead of destroying, the beams are in fact teleporting Bill’s fellow veterans — and finally, Bill himself. They all find themselves on the planet of Saturn (even though it’s a gas giant) face to face with “a strange and alien being.”

“It was I — Kandare Ohl — who brought you and your fellow-warriors here to fight the longest war in history,” he explains, as he removes the Saturn-globe from Bill’s head. And get this explanation as to why his teleportion-thingie looks the way it does:

Yes, it’s the most ridiculous transportation device in the history of science fiction. Anyway, Kandare was the ruler of Saturn, and his twin brother Alagor Von was the ruler of Jupiter (another gas giant, mind you), and there was a big war, blah blah blah, and eventually only the two of them were left on their respective worlds. Since they are telepathic, they were able to continually read each other’s minds and thus were evenly matched. Kandare then had the bright idea to recruit Earthlings to do the fighting for him, since Alagor would be unable to read their thoughts, presumably. And yes, Kandare did realize that Alagor, reading his brother’s thoughts, would do the same thing…and indeed he does, as we see here:

…except he got himself some of them Russians. Please note the Jupiter head on Ivan.

Kandare informs the humans that, should the battle go his way, he would then teleport himself to Earth, wearing a “life-suit” that would give him immortality the way his domed city on Saturn does, so that he would have a population to rule. Kandare then puts a mental whammy on the humans, compelling them attack Alagor, and puts them on a rocket ship to Jupiter. On the way there, their ship passes the rocket-o’Russians headed the other way, and Bill jumps on the radio to signal his “plan” to them. And what’s that plan? We’ll find out soon enough.

For the next couple of pages there’s a lot of running around and general mayhem, and finally Bill confronts Alagor.

As the raygun fire-fight continues, Bill notes that Alagor avoids one part of the room — almost as if he’s trying to protect something from getting hit by a random shot there. After Alagor hightails it like a big pansy, Bill finds a hidden cabinet in that particular part of the room…a cabinet containing another teleportation device in the form of the Earth!

I’m not sure that’s a technically accurate definition of “telekinesis.” I’m pretty sure that’s not even the accurate spelling.

Bill quickly hunts down Alagor (no easy trick, given that the globe has no eye-holes) and prepares to send him packing to Earth. Alagor begs for his life — since he isn’t wearing his own “life-suit,” being sent to Earth away from the protection of his Jovian environment would mean his death.

Will the humans realize that death is not the answer, that a show of mercy would correct the paths of these two brothers, perhaps even healing the rift between them and showing them that their fraternal love is greater than any reason for war?


And it appears that Bill’s brilliant plan was to tell the Russians to run around Kandare’s pad looking for an Earth-globe, too…and, since they did make it home, it appears that there’s probably a pile of Kandare-ash floating around the streets of St. Petersburg or somewhere.

This grand adventure has taught all humanity an important lesson:

…at least until we all get to these planets and start fighting over who gets what.

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