The Mysta of the Moon series is quickly coming to a close as there are only three original Mysta tales left beginning with Planet Comics #60. Mysta makes further appearances in issue #61 and #62, with her final showing being in issue #68 as a reprint from #40. Issue #73 was the final issue of Planet Comics and Fiction House would cease publishing their entire line of comic books soon after.
It was about this time in the publication history of Planet Comics that material began to be reprinted. It appears that no new material was being solicited as a cost-saving measure, though whatever serials were already completed ahead of deadline and ready to go to press were published in the months to follow.
Unlike in the Futura feature which ended a chapter with her being chosen as the leader of a newly liberated planet (Futura – Chapter 22) the various other Planet Comics series do not really have a resolution to their stories. Many of the features had their finale with no notice to the readers and were indistinguishable from any of their previous chapters. Though a non-ending can work if the reader accepts it as with the Futura feature often readers can feel let down by ambiguous endings. But the ability to successfully conclude a Planet Comics series was probably dependent on if the creative team members knew far enough in advance that their stories would be ending. Also, and depressingly so, the possibility exists that given the perceived disposable nature of comic books of the Golden Age it may have been thought by the creators that a fitting climax to the stories was unimportant as they sought continuing employment elsewhere. Out of the various characters ending their run in the latter issues of Planet Comics it is Mysta that does conclude with something of a definite sign-off though it is abrupt and is something to be expounded upon later when that chapter is featured.
In Planet Comics #60 (May 1949) another mutated race is discovered as they make a play for freedom from their underground existence and threaten those who investigate signals coming from what was believed to be a dead world. Dirk Garro seems genuinely dismayed that there was an entire civilization that needed aid and that no one could help when their ecology failed, driving the survivors underground. I speculate these people were another race abandoned when the interplanetary infrastructure broke down during the Anti-Science wars of years past.
In her guise as a technician Mysta aids the Safety Council and again acts less like a computer repair person and more like a Super-Spy. Her performance in this chapter more than any other lends credence to the idea that the ‘technicians’ of the Mysta-verse are all about repairing more than un-jam the fax machine. Her entire story this chapter could be easily transplanted into a 1970s Marvel Team-Up featuring the Black Widow.
Zombie Tribbles? Old school Gold Key Comics homage cover? As part of their cross-over series Infestation, IDW just stroked my geek bone really, really hard.
Mysta’s assistant Bron finally makes a re-appearance in the 24th installment of Mysta of the Moon from Planet Comics #59 (March 1959). While Bron remains stranded on her fortress moon with her robot for companionship Mysta remains undercover as a euphemistically-termed Technician for the Safety Council. Bron acts less disgruntled in his scenes and appears more or less resigned to being exiled to a long-distance professional relationship with his mistress.
When an outlaw uses forbidden weapons to attack the planets in a bid for power Mysta recalls the Spinning Disk from Chapter #21 back into service. Interestingly, Bron refers to the disk or at least the area in which it was stored as having been unattended for some time. It is hard to define how much time passes in the Mysta-verse between chapters since the continuity of Golden Age stories is sketchy at best. There is no telling how old Mysta is either since she probably has access to advanced medical technology that extends her lifetime and vigor that other are not yet privy to.
Rebuilding human civilization from ashes could have taken decades thus far. I would speculate that just removing the anti-intellectual influences from the various cultures would have taken several years of Mysta-meddling and ultimatums after the alien Mars destroyed all knowledge. I would liken it to modern America trying to leave in the past the superstitions that create so much unrest in some political parties and backwards regions. Though I’m sure that the lack of basic services and a food supply may have hastened Mysta’s efforts to rebuild. The citizens, wondering where their next syntho-meal would be coming from, would likely have no problem accepting science to provide for them if Mysta dangled it out in front of them. It may have been one of those situations where Mysta declared the people could listen to the idiot telling them science is evil and starve or fall in line and get electricity and running water restored before the next cold snap.
Matt Baker is once again credited with penciling this chapter.
Planet Comics #58 (January 1949) gives readers a peek into Mysta’s former involvement with the governmental authorities as a menace from her past returns. When Mysta “convinced” the collected worlds of human society to disarm the opportunistic thief Sindar stole plans for forbidden weapons. He planned to build them on his own and use them to take control of a newly rebuilt and vulnerable civilization. Sindar was sentenced to exile on a prison planet by Mysta, who apparently had some say and position of power in the government. Whatever position Mysta maintained in the government she seems to have relinquished it in favor of a consulting or behind-the-throne role, remaining and monitoring humanity from her fortress moon.
The prison world may have been the same one that the impostor Bron was freed from previously to spy on Mysta. It is interesting to note that the plan of replacing a person of influence was again attempted albeit of a much more publicly known individual.
When Sindar escapes from the prison planet and threatens the peace Mysta again aids the Safety Council, continuing to act undercover as a technician. The term ‘technician’ may have a different meaning than a mere repair person as the agents seem to operate with a great degree of autonomy during crises. That the technicians seen thus far are mostly female and live in Safety Council headquarters may only mean that they are housed by gender as highly-skilled on-call operatives who maintain a ready and able force that responds and deploys at a moment’s notice, like firemen or military squads do today. Mysta does not seem to get along with the other technicians, though and they are highly competitive and threatened by the newcomer.
Here is my Valentine’s Day list of the Top 5 Love Songs of All Time. This list can not be disputed. Eons from now the immortal cybernetic Octo-Wolves that host the digital remnants of humanity via blood-borne nano-bots will gather under the moons of Earth and lift high tentacles to transmit mp3000 howl-bursts of agreement over this list*.
5: Love, American Style theme
Like it or not if you lived during the 1970s this patriotic theme song was being whistled and hummed all over America. Composed by Charles Fox (of The Green Slime theme fame) the song got tweaked a bit from its original awkward arrangement into this snappy tune for a soft-core anthology comedy/romance show. Love, American Style is probably best remembered for hosting a stealth pilot for the long-running television series Happy Days.
4: American Pie
Vomitously covered by Madonna a few years back this 1971 ode to nostalgia was a huge hit for folk-rock artist Don McLean. This song is in the list because it is about a love of music and how it affects people. The song was one long reference to pop-culture.
3: This Guy’s In Love With You
Another Golden Oldie from 1968 performed by Herb Alpert and written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. This song could probably be credited for getting Herb all the action he could handle and more for the next several decades. The lyrics are a bit of a downer but the score itself is amazing and can’t be diluted even when rearranged as elevator music.
2: X Offender
A seemingly shocking song that features the doo-wop styling typical of the proto-punk era by Blondie with vocals performed by Debbie Harry. Originally Sex Offender, the name was changed due to concerns that the tune would receive resistance from radio stations worried over public reaction to the title. True Blondie fans call it Sex Offender anyway and totally get it. The song about a sex worker who is arrested by a police officer is misunderstood by a lot of people who don’t understand that cops are people and need love too.
1: Maybe I’m Amazed
A love song from Paul McCartney to his wife, Linda. Maybe I’m Amazed is considered one of his greatest songs and is prominently featured on several albums and is showcased during concerts. Paul reportedly wants this song to be the one he is remembered by. The live version is better than the studio one, of course.
* Frankly, I’m surprised I ever have sex.