Monday, April 12, 2021

Review of "The Lost World: Collected Works From the Pages of Planet Comics, November 1942 to Spring 1950"

 Review of

The Lost World: Collected Works From the Pages of Planet Comics, November 1942 to Spring 1950, ISBN 9781786360755

Five out of five stars

How comics were before the Comics Code Authority

 Reading this book is a look back at how much of the comic book form of science fiction was in the 1940’s. The basic premise is that Earth has been invaded and devastated by a space alien race called the Volta and most of the advances of science and technology have been lost. Few humans remain, yet they are determined to defeat the Volta and regain control of Earth. Led by Hunt Bowman, an extraordinary archer, and his female sidekick Lyssa, the humans face a very uphill fight.

 It is a battle against an enemy that has the technology to travel through space, command great stores of energy, fire various ray guns, fly through the skies and utilize remote sensing equipment. Hunt has his dog Lobo, trained to sniff out the Voltamen. It is a classic exercise in guerilla warfare where there is an extreme difference in the technological capabilities of the two sides.

 The scenarios that play out over the nearly eight year span of issues grows repetitive rather quickly and the dialog is not of the highest quality. It is also strange that some of the devices such as trains still work, even more that the people know how to run them. Generally, it is the case that when the humans need an ancient device to work, it just does.

 The comic adventures in this book are a history lesson in the type of story development that was ever present in the science fiction pulp publications. Absurd premises, weak character development, scantily clad women and bizarre aliens of various types. One positive note is that Lyssa is a fighter alongside Hunt, she is no fainting wimp. Which was not all that common in that time frame. I enjoyed it because it is a demonstration of how it was in the comic medium back then.

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