January 18, 2010

Unusual Tales - Return From Saturn

"Unusual Tales", a series presenting Steve Ditko's comics from 1957 to 1959 that are in the public domain.

Charlton's SPACE ADVENTURES #26 [1958] featured four 5-page stories by Steve Ditko. This is the last of them, "Return From Saturn".  It's a rather sedate story about the first people sent to Saturn, and what they found there that might get in the way of the army's hopes for conquest.

Solid work without too many chances to shine from Ditko, although I do like the panel of the city on Saturn, and that panel on the bottom of page two is nicely drawn and would turn out to be a good reinforcement of the theme of the story.

Some links to check out
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
New comic, A DITKO ACT TWO, is imminent
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
#77, focus on Ditko's independent work, Dave Sim cover, mailing this week
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
 All of Ditko's Indiana Jones stories soon to be in-print.  Didn't see that coming...
Download public domain comics, likely including the one this story is from
scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies

Click images to big-up.



  1. Nice little story, tho the diaglog doesn't quite make sense with the artwork.

    They send 3 guys to Saturn and they were all anthropologists? No engineers or the like?

    The time seems to be the 50s, based on clothing and the like, but we hear of earth conquering other planets, which doesn't make too much sense. If they had conquered mars, that might be better launch site for Saturn.

    The general wears what appears to be an US airforce uniform, but speaks of a global government. And the beligerance of earthlings seems strange.

  2. The story is set some 25 years into the future -- see first panel.

  3. well, yeah, that's part of the problem with some of these stories: the captions and such are too wordy. Instead of letting the art tell more of the story, you have too much in the early captions.

    Or you see some stories that wrap up too soon, such that their has to be some exposition in the last panel or two to wrap things up.