Planet Comics #36 (May 1945) marks the second appearance of Mysta. As a character she is still not fully fleshed out though she is comfortably housed in an interplanetary fortress by this issue all the better to watch the universe and scan for evil. Being a super science hero was pretty common for tales of this age and it would take some time for her to settle into a role similar to contemporary comic book characters.
Mars, the troublesome God of War makes only a cameo appearance and is likely present only because his name is on the cover and to ease the transition from his adventures to Mysta. New stories featuring Mars would be discarded entirely and the character would appear only as reprinted tales in a few future issues and fanzines.
For more about Mars, go to Pappy’s Golden Age Comics Blogzine. He posted a great Mars story back in 2009 from Planet Comics #69. There is a reason that serial is much sought after by collectors.
In this issue Mysta goes up against slime-fungus, mind-controlled zombies and the evil, twisted despot Superbrain. It ends pretty much as grisly as expected.
Here is a fondly remembered chapter from the nearly forgotten and criminally-uncollected Space Conquerors from Boy’s Life (March 1971). This was a long-running strip that changed in sophistication from Space Race Atom-Age exploration of Manifest Destiny to Space Opera over the decades as reader tastes and expectations changed. Space Conquerors was usually credited to Al Stenzel with art duties being typically uncredited. The artists varied over the years and it would take someone with greater familiarity with the illustrators of the era than I to identify them.
I read with fascination this strip in the 1970s and I had a subscription to Boy’s Life just for this version of the Space Conquerors. For some reason this chapter really stuck in my memory. It doesn’t have much action but I think the willingness of Primo to eat the local fare first to test it for safety and Kurt’s refusal to have his friend take the risk alone stuck with me.
Then there is this chapter from June 1971. Yikes.
For those not familiar with Cowboy Sahib it is the tale of a garsh-shucks modern American cowboy transplanted via war to India. Once there he fights despots and Cossacks and all manners of vile sorts and along the way manages to win the hand of a beautiful princess.
There are quite a few awesome images from comic books that are eternal, usually featuring Batman, but the drawing of a cowboy firing off his six-shooters while riding a tiger into battle is one for the ages.
Mondays are going to be Mysta Mondays for a while.
Updating Cowboy Sahib. Had to clean up the scans. Probably Fridays.
The Dreaded ORANGE NUT ROLL.
Satan lives! In your old toys.
Books, books, books. And magazines.
My First Big Book of Noir. Featuring the Namesake Killer!
Let Me Tell You About My Flair. Mmm-hmm, yeah.
Realms Apart. A story about the dark side of sunny San Diego.