Mysta of the Moon – Chapter 25

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.

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Mysta of the Moon – Chapter 23

Interesting politics are on display in Planet Comics #57 (November 1948) as Mysta becomes involved in economic warfare against shape-shifting mutants. The Science Council is again absent in this Matt Baker penciled tale and the Safety Council remains as the representative administration for Earth presumably controlling the application of potentially dangerous and destabilizing renewed sciences.

When an outer planet is denied the importation of its adaptable and non-sentient workforce the leader does not take too kindly to the economic blockade and makes plans to invade Earth using drones that can assume the shape of any human. While the mutant drones could be a boon to industry they are also a clear and present threat to the security of any world. The drones represent a technology that could be used by the smallest group or individual with access to some funds and technology. Special interests threatened by a cheap, adaptable labor force are probably also putting pressure upon the Safety Council or whatever body governs the planet to ban their import. Assistant Bron is absent entirely from this chapter and is presumably marooned on Mysta’s distant fortress moon.

Mysta, remaining undercover as a competent yet mouthy technician in the Safety Council headquarters intervenes with the terrorist plot by the leader of the blockaded world. Unfortunately, Mysta also practices the bent for genocide that Fiction House heroes are known for as she tricks the leader into destroying his own planet with nuclear weapons. This could be excused as the cost of war. However right or wrong economic and security policies instituted by Earth had fomented a war. While in the past Mysta had usually acted at the will of or grudging acceptance of the Science Council this time she acted on her own after judging that the technology to wage nuclear war and infiltrate other planets was in the control of someone she did not see fit to wield it. Though the outcome may have been the same if the Safety Council was involved Mysta took a decidedly singular action and ended the conflict by destroying an enemy’s infrastructure and ability to deploy their weapons for the foreseeable future.

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Mysta of the Moon – Chapter 22

Planet Comics #56 (September 1948) is a pulpy entry into the Mysta of the Moon serial. Veteran pulp artist Joe Doolin is credited with the cover and it really hearkens back to the style of the 20s and 30s speculative fiction magazines. The Mysta tale is penciled by Matt Baker and his signature style is pretty clear even with the ‘good girl’ aspect of his art not as evident. Baker may not be as suited to science fiction as he is to drama and intrigue tales yet he puts in a good showing.

As for this chapter of Mysta itself it is full of imagery familiar to fans of pulps. Robots, BEM’s and the space ship wielding a giant spinning saw blade used to destroy buildings all evoke adventure mags of decades prior. The threat is from without this time and features what might be the first actual alien life form depicted in this series. It is never specifically identified as such but the villain of this tale is a colony creature suspended in fluid and may not be a genetically modified member of the human race used for labor as speculated in the other chapters.

The Safety Council and chairman Dirk Garro makes another showing and lends credence to the theory that the old government more friendly to Mysta and her decrees has been replaced. Domestic trouble at home is also on the horizon as the increasingly absent Mysta (who remains undercover with the Safety Council) causes Bron to become more dissatisfied with his role as her assistant and possible romantic interest. Mysta’s robot is not utilized at all (except for perhaps a guard keeping an electric eye on Bron) and appears modified again to be more utilitarian, vastly different from the previous model of humanoid, transparent musculature before the appearance of Bron.

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