Thursday, May 23, 2024

Fero Planet Detective

How many of you knew that vampires and werewolves (and evil dwarves) are actually from Pluto? Fero Planet Detective was a fun but very short-lived, and very early entry into the Planet Comics canon of science fiction heroes. And as seen here in his comic book debut, not only was he a "detective of the netherworlds", but also a "scientist of the occult", though none of these amazing abilities could save him from the barrage of bikini'd space babes that Fiction House would quickly replace him with after just four measly appearances. It's all a bit primitive in both writing and art, but still a nice monster mash-up, sci-fi/horror hoot... from the May 1940 issue of Planet Comics #4.


JMR777 said...

The werewolf, vampire and Plutonian Dwarf were impressive, the master detective was not. "I'll cover you from here" inside the safety of this mansion while you go on without a gun or silver knife or anything to defend himself. Big help detective.

A gardener who owns a lodge- how much is the doctor paying him for gardening, or blackmail money? I guess we will never know.

Another weird one from the annals of horror comics- great art, average story, a fun read from start to finish.

Brian Barnes said...

One thing about these early adventure comics is how nonchalent everybody is. Phyllis just woke up from being kidnapped by a dwarf/werewolf/vampire trio, her house exploded (!!!), she's been casually informed of her fathers death by the one idiot that was supposed to protect him, and "You were so wonderful!"

Does Fero even say thank you? No! He's immediately blathering on about his Pluto conspiracy theories!

So the art is incredibly stilted, the camera angles are weird and how the artist choose to fill the panels is bizarre at best, sometimes long shots when close ups would do, etc. Yet ... the guy could draw! That's a fabulous wolf man! A cool looking dwarf/demon, and the vampire is awesome.

That's what makes these early comics so fascinating -- the rules aren't down yet so even somebody with fine skills like this artist hands in a weird job but does it with skill!

Grant said...

Speaking of the rules not being down, it's funny how thoroughly Panel 2 of Page 3 defines "werewolf."
But it's 1940, and even though people have heard of them, I guess a huge part of the pop culture part of it hasn't come along. Especially the obvious movie, which is about a year off.

Everyone here is right about Fero letting Wade take too big a risk. Here's someone who can evidently kill a werewolf barehanded, but who lets a "civilian" go into that building alone!

Mr. Cavin said...

I love a good boy-meets-dwarf story. This one got plenty explicit before the inevitable tragedy. The little green guy musta been a bad kisser.

I was also rushing here to point out how excellent that werewolf is. Just odd enough to be fanciful; more like a David Bowie-type alien than the usual bestial muscleman. This is the kind of celestial star-wolf that starts a religion in Egypt. I think this whole "green light monsters from Pluto" thing has real possibilities. The strange weird vibe here could take us almost anywhere. It's pregnant with the same kind of WTF potential as Fletcher Hanks or Phantasm. The storytelling, rigidly subordinated to the panel structure, almost feels cinematic: That slow pan and zoom into the castle at the top of page two, then the scene changes and we slowly pull out to the heroes watching the lodge. That's great work! And I just love how the only baddie with wings falls to its death. How embarrassing.

I hope you can post some of the Fero stories.

Mr. Karswell said...

We might see more Fero some day, either here or over at AEET... stay tombed, and thanks for the comments!

Todd said...

The best part of this is the comments. That said, I love how anything can happen in these older comics, and they all just roll with it. I kind of like the dwarf, much more than the vampire.

Arcadia Jane Berger said...

The winged Plutonian vampire being unable to fly in Earth's gravity was a nice bit of realistic physics.

Yes, I'm being sarcastic . . . .