Comic Book Club: The Origins of Science Fiction Comics

by CryptoComics Couch - Posted 3 weeks ago

Comic Book Club: Read and discuss comics with us every 1st and 3rd Wednesday at 7PM MST. In case you missed our Origins of Sci Fi discussion:


This month, we're diving into the classic science fiction comic, Space Detective. This early gem is a prime example of why the genre soared in popularity during its time. Given that May is "Star Wars Month", and synonymous with science fiction fandom, especially with "May the 4th be with you" (a nod to Star Wars for the uninitiated), it's the perfect month to explore this retro treasure.

If you haven't done so yet, grab a free copy of Space Detective. Below are a few of things discussed. Join the discussion on the book page in the Marketplace.

What is Space Detective about?

When danger looms over Earth, wealthy Rod Hathaway and his secretary Dot transform into the space-roving superheroes, The Avenger and Teena. In a thrilling three-part story, they face off against Maag the space pirate. This adventure is penned by Walter Gibson, renowned for his work on The Shadow's pulp adventures under the pseudonym Maxwell Grant. The comic also boasts a stunning contents page illustrated by Wally Wood on the inside front cover, a captivating cover by legendary artists Joe Orlando and Wally Wood, and a bonus story featuring Lucky Dale, Girl Detective.

The Golden Age of Space-Themed Comics

Space Detective is one of many popular space-themed comics from the 1950s. But why was the 50s such a pivotal decade for science fiction and stories about space exploration?

The 1950s marked the beginning of the space race, particularly with the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik. This era saw the dawn of space as the "final frontier," driven by rapid technological advancements and an increasingly globalized world. Humanity has always been fascinated by the stars, but the 50s made the dream of space exploration seem tangible and imminent.

The Evolution of Science Fiction

How has science fiction stayed the same over the decades, and how has it evolved?

Space Detective encapsulates classic sci-fi elements like space travel, interstellar races, and futuristic weaponry. These themes remain core to the genre, although the specifics of technology and societal issues depicted have evolved. Modern science fiction often explores more complex themes and advanced technology, reflecting our current understanding and concerns.


What do you think of the characters, particularly the Avenger and his secretary Dot, aka Teena?

The characters in Space Detective embody the archetypal roles of their time. The Avenger is the classic hero, while Dot/Teena combines the roles of a competent assistant and a love interest. These roles may feel dated, but they also provide a window into the cultural norms and storytelling styles of the 1950s.

Artistic Impressions

What are your thoughts on the artwork?

Older comics like Space Detective were designed for print, which sometimes makes their digital scans less impressive. However, the distinctive drawing style of this era has a timeless quality, often emulated in modern comics. The bold lines and vibrant colors capture the excitement and optimism of early sci-fi.

Relevance Today

How would Space Detective fare if it were published today? Are any of its themes still relevant?

Themes like drug smuggling, which is a plot point in Space Detective, remain pertinent in today's society. The comic's exploration of space and adventure continues to resonate, as humanity's curiosity about the cosmos and the desire to explore the unknown is as strong as ever.

Join the discussion and share your thoughts on Space Detective. How do you feel about its depiction of space exploration and its relevance to today's world? Let's celebrate the enduring legacy of science fiction together!

Read More Science Fiction

From classics to original indie stories, you can choose from hundreds of sci fi comics and novels in the Marketplace. Borrow, buy, or collect - you decide how you want to read and support creators!

A few you shouldn't miss:

sci fi manga

Martians vs Roughnecks Comic

Golddigger Comic