Thursday, September 30, 2010

Favorite sci-fi comics

I love comic books.  Have since the age of 6.  Today, during the numbness of my day job, I mentally wandered off and compiled a list of my favorite comics that had strong science fiction themes.  In no certain order and chosen with no other analysis or criteria than "stuff I like," I hereby tender my list:

Superman.  It's often easy to forget that the prototype for the modern comic book hero is himself a stranger to this world.  Last son of a dead planet, he owes all that he is (physically, anyway) to alien genetics.
Hawkman.  Tough-as-nails cop from the planet Thanagar fights super-baddies like the Manhawks...and keeps a really cool ship in Earth orbit.

Green Lantern.  A dying alien gives Hal Jordan a power ring, making him the Green Lantern for our sector of space.  Thus is born one of comics' greatest characters (sorry George.)

Adam Strange.  An archeologist is whisked away to the planet Rann.  He matriculates into the role of shepherd for the planet's population (especially for Alanna, nudge-nudge, wink-wink, knowwhatImean) and protects them from threats to their world.  Strange has no super powers.  Instead, he relies on his wits, his Ivy League education, and a really cool retro-1950s jetpack and laser gun to get him out of trouble.

Camelot 3000.  It is the year 3000 (probably where the title came from.)  Earth has been invaded and occupied by aliens.  It is said that Britain's greatest hero will return in her greatest hour of need.  That time is now.  
Come on!  What's not to like?  Once you get a look at that delicious Brian Bolland artwork of Excalibur rising up out of the waters of a nuclear plant (I think), you'll be hooked.

Shazam!  While not infused with an overabundance of science fiction memes, this book is included here for the pure presence of Mr. Mind.  
He could be one of the greatest characters in the history of comic books. Mind is a worm who hails from a distant planet and is possessed of advanced intelligence and hypnotic/telepathic abilities.  And I must not forget the Crocodile Men from the planet Punkus.  Dope.


Fantastic Four.  Given their powers by the very cosmic rays of space, Marvel's first superteam faces threats to the entire planet, such as Galactus, Dr. Doom, and Johnny Storm's terrible rap song from the 90s cartoon ("Flame on, flame on, flame on and on and on...")

Captain Marvel.  As Mar-Vell, he was a son of the Kree Empire, sent to Earth as both spy and saboteur.  In time, his good nature prevailed he became one of the greatest characters of the Marvel Universe.

Warlock.  God-like in abilities, god-like in origins, his is an epic tale that is mythological in scope.  This was yet another case of Jack Kirby exploring his spiritual side.

Nova.  High school student Richard Rider (ahem...Spider-Man...ahem) is chosen at random by the alien Rhomann Dey, centurion of the Nova Corps of the planet Xandar (ahem...Green Lantern...ahem) to become the next Nova.  As Nova, Rider carries out Dey's revenge against the space pirate Zorr and even stays on to fight crime.
Oh the derivations!  But oh so much fun.  

Shogun Warriors.  Ok, so this one is kinda bad.  Yet it is a delight in the reading.  Giant robots built by ancient aliens fight a new battle against chaotic threats to the Earth.  Strong daikaiju themes in this one and so spectacularly atrocious 70s dialogue.
Aside from G.I. Joe, this is the best comics series I've ever read based upon a toy line.  Guess that's a bit like saying a punch in the nose is better than a kick to the nads, but there it is.

Star Wars.  This is a series that is either loved or reviled by Star Wars fans.  I appreciate it for its kitsch, its camp, and the fact that an absolutely amazing character had his genesis here.  Ladies and gentlemen and anything else in between of the Internet, I give you...Jaxxon Rabbit:

Come on.  He's nowhere near as insidious as Jar-Jar.

UFO and Flying Saucers.  Through my surfing upon the zeroes and ones of our global computer network (translated: bored at work and a browser open before me), I came across this series from the old Gold Key line of comics.  I must find and read the issues for obvious reasons.

In closing, I shall leave you with one last bit of comics-inspired artwork that will make you laugh and weird you out all at the same time.  That's for you folks who haven't had that happen yet in the post.

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