Mysta of the Moon – Chapter 10

Planet Comics #44 (Sept 1946) brings a multi-part story and some continuity to Mysta’s story. This chapter also gives the reader some insight into the politics of Mysta and the society in which she lives.

Recognizing the need to appear friendly and cooperative, Mysta agrees with the Science Council to host a student (an ambassador and perhaps spy) at her fortress for a year. The student, Bron, will learn science at the feet of the “Queen of Science” and presumably go back to his own world wiser about the application of dangerous technology or at the least as an agreeable public face of Mysta’s benevolence.

It appears the Science Council is using Mysta who is also not above using them and any propaganda tools she can apply. Mysta recognizes the power of not only atoms but good public relations as well. Unfortunately an old enemy interferes with her plans with designs to wrest control of forbidden sciences from Mysta. The villain of this chapter, The Face kidnaps and replaces Mysta’s student with a ringer. That the villains fool Mysta and everyone else is somewhat odd. Not being able to verify someone’s identity seems somewhat unlikely but human society is probably still fragmented and rebuilding from the the Anti-Science Wars caused by Mars. It could be that even the most recovered worlds would have official databases that are easily compromised via corruption or carelessness. That a thriving space pirate and vast institutionalized criminal network exists under Mysta’s watchful probes lends credence to the theory.

Using threats to return Fake-Bron to the living Hell of the “Kafka Colony” he rescued him from, the Face plans to have the Fake-Bron betray Mysta. It isn’t clear what the Kafka Colony is but a clue might be found in the name. It may be a prison or place of exile but the name may also be ironic in nature. If not, it says a lot about how a rebuilt human civilization is treating their prisoners of war or other criminals. Again, Mysta is keeping to her policy of non-interference in day-to-day politics and culture choosing to control dangerous knowledge instead of righting wrongs and improving the general quality of life. Also, not an animal lover.

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Sheena, Queen of the Prom

Found on the back of Planet Comics #43 (July 1946) is this house ad for Jumbo Comics featuring Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, a popular Fiction House jungle-themed heroine with origins going back to Britain in 1937. In the ad a letter from a school faculty sponsor addressed to the house pseudonym responsible for creating Sheena declares that the character has been chosen as the mascot for the 1947 Graduating Class of John Bartram High School in Philadelphia.

When I showed this ad to my Mom she asserted that her school would never have allowed such an icon to be used as a mascot since Sheena was such a provocative female figure. I can only speculate that the parents and faculty of the school of the 1940s didn’t mind as they had friends and family that were used to glamorous pin-ups in the home, workplace and military barracks and a culture that was a little more rough and tumble from years of war and working the shipyards. I don’t know what the long ago class of that high school was like but I can’t help thinking that Sheena would not go over as well today with the students as it may have done in 1947. The image of a Caucasian female dressed in leopard skin as the Queen of an African region would be as more unpopular (though for different reasons) than their current school mascot, what some have called a stereotypical Indian brave.