Oct 5, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 223: Alien Worlds #6, February 1984

I wonder what the reaction of comic shop owners was when they opened their boxes and saw that they'd have to try to display that cover somewhere on the shelves.

As I mentioned previously, I've been trying to figure out whether the glut of naked women in the pages of Alien Worlds is simply the male-centric world of comics rearing its beardy, ugly head, or if there's something a little more ironically nostalgic going on. The curvaceous lady on the cover there is the main character from a long-ish tale at the end of the comic. She, when questioned about the scanty nature of what she terms a "combat uniform" claims it was inspired by the clothing of Dejah Thoris, of Burrough's John Carter series of novels. So there is this call-back to the golden age of science fiction. And her term for her almost-complete-lack-of-clothing, a "combat uniform," is interestingly supported by the fact that she describes the uniform as giving her an advantage over opponents not only in martial combat, but also in navigating the bureaucracy of the colony she inhabits. So there there is a tiny irony, a redefinition of the term combat. I'm still not completely convinced that it's not simply sensationalism, but it's starting to appear to be something more.

The stories in this issue were quite good, better than yesterday's. The final, long story read almost like an old Prince Valiant story. There was very little dialogue, most of the internal action happening in caption boxes. There was far less attention paid to the robots that have been ubiquitous through the rest of the series. The concentration was instead focussed on different species and the ways we might interact with them, manufacture them, and become them. There's a bit more of the posthuman here, a little less of the singularity. Oh, and it ends with strange alien monster sex. How's that for a selling point?

I'll be moving on to issue #7 tomorrow, the first one to bear the Eclipse Comics trade dress. It'll be interesting to see if the content substantially changes with the change in publisher. But now I'm off to mainline some Rick and Morty with my son. See you tomorrow!

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