Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Thing That Devoured a Planet! / It Came from Beneath the Earth!

THOIA returns from our Halloween vacation with a double precode Atlas monsterama, both stories penned by Stan Lee-- the first tale was originally presented in the February '52 issue of Adventures into Weird Worlds #2 as "When a World Goes Mad!" featuring a wildly inspired, illustrated monstrosity by Al Hartley-- and followed by a fun little three page Winiarksi quickie that originally appeared in the November '52 issue of Adventures into Weird Worlds #12 as "The Monster!", ---both retitled and reprinted together years later in the December '73 debut issue of Weird Wonder Tales #1.











12 comments:

Brian Barnes said...

Welcome back, Karswell!

That's a great Kane cover. These reprints are interesting, as the cover is usually a lot more Marvel style of the time (that monster might as well be the living monolith or something of the like) but what they get is very much Atlas style.

The first tale is just great; the proto-Galactus, the beautiful Hartley art, and a real sense of the scale the story requires. The second story is another fun comical quickie.

These are fine examples of Stan's writing in the period.

Mestiere said...

Two entertaining stories.

You could already see Stan Lee's interest in a Devourer of Worlds.

Interesting that the world-eating creature had human shape, like Yahweh had fallen on hard times. Of course, the human shape is the way it is—with bones and everything—because of the effect of gravity. Did this creature come from a greater, larger scale super-universe with super-planets? Maybe it's even a ghost, only here it has substance enough to fling suns away. And the cat-like, even larger creature would come from an even larger scale ultra-universe where it was just a house cat.

Since these creatures "breath" and make "sounds" in space Stan Lee must be a believer in ether, the mysterious substance that allegedly occupies apparently empty space. There are still scientists who believe in that, although they are well outside the mainstream.

In the second story we saw perhaps the most desultory invasion ever. They send one unarmed guy to conquer the world!

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Welcome back! I had those two in italian translation (in black and white, unfortunately), and I saw Mr. Lee in Lucca in 1974, or 1975 maybe. Great moustache. Great wife. There's a nice interview on youtube. Guess he was one of the first american big shots who came here...

Karswell said...

It's good to be back, though after experiencing a few weeks of perfect tropical weather, only to come back to midwest temps now dipping into the 20's, is a bit of a downer.

Thanks for the comments and sticking with us during our hiatus-- lots more on the way shortly!

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

It's funny, only when I saw Mestiere's comment on "The thing" I thought about Steve Ditko's "Tim Boo Ba" (was this the name?) Same moral, I think: just a matter of size and perspective...

Karswell said...

Maybe... it's also simply the age old moral of "there's always a bigger fish in the sea"

Grant said...

It's funny (and not necessarily in a goofy way) that in a really out-there story like the first one, you still get that tradition of horrified people yelling "AAIIEE!!"

Grant said...

The second story is so short it's a little like one of those notorious NIGHT GALLERY comedy blackout. But, I like several of those, and I like this.

One line sounded to me at first like even more of a regional joke than it is. It's when he tells the woman "I come from the depths of the earth!" and she says "I'm form Hoboken myself."
At first I put the accent on "myself" and thought that meant "Depths of the earth? - I'm from Hoboken TOO!"
In other words, a little jab at New Jersey by (presumably) a comic writer in New York.

Cheswick Stoddard said...

"Something which seems large to a smaller thing can also be considered small by a larger thing." "Woah, slow down, egghead!"

How on Earth did these students manage to make it to university without understanding the basic concepts of size and perception?

Jeff brown said...

"Thing..." seems to have been inspired by "Thang" by Martin Gardner, which you can read here: http://vintage.failed-dam.org/thang.htm

Karswell said...

Interesting! Thanks for the continued comments on this post you guys! :)

Dr. Theda said...

Thank you good Sir Karswell...
the second tale gave us a much needed "Laugh"....
A great evening to you good Sir....