Thursday, November 22, 2018

Review of "Showcase Presents Strange Adventures Volume 1"

Review of
Showcase Presents Strange Adventures Volume 1 ISBN 9781401215446

Five out of five stars
 The stories collected in this volume were originally published in 1955-56 and any evaluation of their content must keep this in mind. At that time, very little was known about the surface conditions on other planets, so it was plausible that there was intelligent life on places such as Mars, Jupiter and even Pluto. Therefore, when an alien lands on Earth in a story of the middle fifties, it was not altogether ridiculous for them to say that they were from another planet in our solar system.
 Most of the stories are based on the premise that aliens from other worlds are preparing an invasion of Earth. In general, the one thing that they fear are the nuclear weapons that the Earthlings possess. Of course, this does not hold up to great scrutiny, as any species capable of interplanetary or interstellar travel will understand nuclear physics well enough to possess nuclear weapons.
 These stories are a look back to a very unique time in the history of comics. Largely as a reaction to public pressure generated by the book “Seduction of the Innocent” by Frederic Wertham in 1954, the comics industry adopted the self-regulatory Comics Code Authority in September 1954. Therefore, these comics would essentially be the first ones in this series off the presses that conformed to that code. There is very little in the way of violence, the aliens are defeated by human guile and subterfuge rather than as a consequence of a brutal, destructive war.

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