Sirk TV Graphic Novel Review: THE EC ARCHIVES – WEIRD SCIENCE VOL. 1 [Dark Horse]

ws1The great thing about the old sci fi comics of the early 50s was how seriously everyone took it. In an era still filled with many elements of censorship and the studio system and with the background of war still ringing in the ears of many Americans, explaining a lot of the unexplainable was a given course. Al Feldstein, who went on to do Mad Magazine with Bill Gaines are both in effect here before overarching politics changed their angle. Seen within “The EC Archives: Weird Science Vol. 1” [Al Feldstein & Bill Gaines/Dark Horse/216pgs], these ideas play as the original Twilight Zone stories and many of them, however short, inspired and/or formed the basis of many filmmakers. George Lucas actually writes the foreword here and it goes to show how mediums influence the culture that comes afterwards. In terms of stand out stories there are many but this will highlight a few. “House In Time” approaches some interesting ideas of temporal displacement in showing how one house can enter one time and exit outside another and yet exist in two separate times. Seeing it through the eyes of a 50s couple provides the normalcy of life that it turns upside down. Another is “The Man Who Was Killed In Time” which shows temporal flux with an explanation of its actual working from within that time period. Other stories tackle this in this volume including one with the Titanic but this is the story that exceptionally nails it. ” I Created A Gargantua” is sort of reverse “Last Man On Earth” but its strength is showing the emotion of isolation of a character while fighting against society. It is a very interesting character study in that regard. Other stories progress with interesting tendencies of the day which were not shown much beyond certain noir shows. These were stories of dread, death, jealousy and revenge but all with a touch of sarcasm inherent.  One such story: “Divide & Conquer” follows a man who is betrayed by a younger woman he is supposed to marry. He has figured out how to separate beings and make versions of the same copy. He uses it to outwit her and then makes her into hundreds of smaller versions and stomps her out. Very dark. Another one: “Man & Superman” deals with a jock and his less statuesque cousin. The cousin tells his stronger relation of how the ironic dynamic of how mass and strength works. It’s aspect of a parable gone wrong obviously relays more as the story goes on. A similar story:”Return” tells of an atomic spaceship leaving on 5000 years journey to escape an atomic holocaust. They return half a million years later. Interestingly man is back to where they were when they left. Mankind had been destroyed and then built up again to the brink of destruction making it redundant for the cycle to begin again. The aspects that this book covers are what great science fiction ideas were based on, not franchises. Also the small prose stories and feedback are included here in between the graphically illustrated titles also very much give a good concept of the time.

A

By Tim Wassberg

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Posted on December 14, 2015, in Other Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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