Saturday, November 16, 2019

Science Fiction and the Supernatural

Forbidden Worlds #65 (American Comics Group, April 1958, 10 cents)
"There's a New Moon Tonight" Pencils and inks: Ogden Whitney, and Script: Richard Hughes.

While the main story in this issue is squarely science fiction, the other short pieces are more supernatural in scope. The 15-page lead piece tells the tale of aerospace scientist and MIT alumnus Ben Widdemer, who leaves behind the mechanical toys of Precision Plastics Inc. to respond to the Soviet launch of Sputnik and "reach for the moon." He falls for liaison agent Mary Simmons, in reality a Russian operative named Olga Kurilenko.

Widdemer's satellite New Moon can accommodate him as a passenger, and Simmons declares her love for him while holding a bomb in her hand. The satellite goes out of control and lands on a strange, bleak planet, where Widdemer meets the survivors of an alien race who plan a mass invasion of Earth. Their invasion is not successful.

The one-page "Wartime Episode" (Pencils and inks: John Forte) reunites a 2-year-old boy with his parents many years later. In the uncredited four-page "No Place to Hide," perhaps the best story in the issue, an erstwhile embezzler is kept from committing his crime. The uncredited one-page "What's the Answer?" is a time-traveling tale of ghostly medical attention. And the five-page "Return of a Hero" (Pencils and inks: John Forte) brings a Hungarian hero back from the dead to lend a hand in the rebellion against Communism.

The issue also includes a two-page letter column.

Availability: Dark Horse offers several collections (Forbidden Worlds Archives Vol. 1, Vol. 3), as does PS Publishing (Forbidden Worlds Collected Works Vol. 4Vol. 5, Vol. 6) and Gwandanaland (Forbidden Worlds Readers Giant #2 and Forbidden Worlds Readers Giant #3).

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