Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Comic Book

I read Weird Fantasy #13 from EC comics, which was a story about a comet that almost destroys the Earth before exploding. While the Earth remains intact, the radiation of the comet renders all mammals infertile and the comic chronicles the last human born on Earth. I had a lot of fun reading this story and I was genuinely invested in the plot. These short sci-fi scenarios remind me a lot of “Twilight Zone” episodes I used to watch as a kid. The ending really threw me for a loop. The story is very urgent and serious throughout the comic but the final reveal in the last panel is so incredibly silly that I couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity. Adam, the last man born on Earth, and one of his scientific partners decide to create a portal to transport fertile people from the past to their future to repopulate the Earth. They are baffled when they only attract men through their door. Adam decides to enter the portal to see where all these 1950s women are and he is shocked to see that their portal was placed in a Men’s room. The final panel is essentially him lamenting the fact that he is too old and creepy to ever attract a woman into the portal. All of humanity is doomed because of a bathroom. Since this was my first Weird Fantasy story I didn’t know to expect such a silly punch line, but I was happily surprised.

I also noticed that almost every line in the comic ended with an exclamation point. This seems to be an ongoing trend in genre comics, especially adventure and super hero stories. The format made me read the words in my mind as if they were spoken in the urgent voice of a 1920’s newsreel. 

It’s also fun to see how the comic portrayed the near future. 2012, in this universe, promised flying cars and fashionable neon capes. It’s always fun to see how past generations envisioned our present, and how far we are from achieving it (especially the capes). 

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