About 30 years ago, my brother Ramon and i were kibitzing about comics, as was our wont. We'd pour over the Overstreet, wondering if we'd ever possess a complete run of some comic published before we were born. Never mind that we had some complete Silver Age runs -- we were dreaming about an obscure EC title -- "A Moon, A Girl ... Romance" or "Psychoanalysis", anyone? We wanted something affordable, amusing, and old, in solid condition. Not near mint, because we wanted to read the suckers. We're fans, more than collectors. We quickly decided a single issue run was most within our means, and we selected "Robotmen of the Lost Planet", Avon Comics, 1952. i think our little joint investment has quadrupled in value, but the real deal is that we love it's giddy stupidity. As a public service, we'll share a few panels from this 22 page three generation family saga with you.
First, as shown above, perhaps the "lost planet" is Mars or Archie McPhee. because the 'robots' look just like the Martian Popping Thing. Also, the planetary threat seems to be more cybernetic than purely robotic in nature...else why would they have 'tissue rot'? But, hey, in 1952 i suppose anything manufactured was mechanical. The trouble begins when the robotmen begin secretly replicating themselves. Either covert models aren't programmed for servility,
or they go through an adolescent rebellion phase. We'll skip the demise of the patriarch on his son's wedding day, and the war and downfall of the human race (boooo-ring), resulting in them dressing like caveman within five years. Because the robots drove them into caves, get it? Actually, i think this is because the kids this comic was made for might like to dress like a caveman. A son, Laurie, is born to the newlyweds, and they raise him up right in robot-hatin' ways.
Soon, he gets to try out his stuff in ways his father, who infiltrates the enemy in a 'bot costume, never could.
Laurie even makes those girly-bots cry!
Our boy turns the tide; Planet McPhee is saved.
We've given ourselves an art challenge to each do a drawing or painting using the RobotMan or his Archie action figure. Sometime after the new year i'll scan and post the entries ... if you care to join us, write me and i'll add your graphic to the post.