Redartz: I've long had a fascination with Outer Space , originating with watching the Apollo astronauts and their adventures as a child. I tuned in to "Lost in Space". I read books about the stars and planets. I even got a small telescope one Christmas, and eagerly focused it on the moon. Therefore, it's only natural that space-based comic books would be appealing. Chances are that many of you found such comics attractive as well (after all, how can you resist the Vastness of Space and All It's Mysteries?).
When it comes to the subject of the cosmos, comics have approached it in several ways; directly and indirectly. There have been fact based, scientific comics (for instance, Dell's "Man in Space"). Then there are comics that deal with the stars via the star drives of Science Fiction (say, "Mystery in Space"). And of course there are the books whose protagonists are themselves spacefarers ("Captain Marvel", and so many others). All these types of comics are on the table for our discussion this week; and if you're so inclined feel free to bring up your favorite comic stories that may only deal with space under specific circumstances (for example, any who love to read about the Fantastic Four traveling to that infamous Fifth Quadrant of the Andromeda Galaxy to deal with the Skrulls).
You may ask, "Okay, Red; what ones did you like?" Glad you asked. Although the straightforward, scientific space comics are rather uncommon, I definitely liked the second and third categories. Especially the Science fiction variety; my fondness for anthologies is common knowledge here at BitBA. Two titles in particular always got my dollars: "Mystery in Space", and "Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction". One DC, one Marvel; after all, fair is fair.
"Mystery in Space" in our Bronze age, was a DC revival title in 1980 that featured a handful of short stories in each issue. With sharp covers by Joe Kubert and interior art by the likes of Marshall Rogers, Steve Ditko, Jim Aparo, Trevor Von Eeden, Mike Golden and many others, MiS was full of fine visuals. The stories ranged from 'meh' to 'Holy Cow'; but they never failed to entertain.
"Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction" was also an anthology, but it was a black and white magazine format publication from Marvel; debuting in 1974. Like "Mystery in Space" above, "Unknown Worlds" ended up as a rather short-lived title. Nevertheless, during it's limited run it gave us a load of good stories and top notch art. I had just begun my comics collecting career at that time, and was amazed at the quality of the magazine from issue number 1. The first issue artists included Neal Adams, Mike Kaluta, Al Williamson, Frank Brunner and Gene Colan. Pretty impressive debut. And also like "Mystery", in Unknown Worlds the stories themselves varied a bit. but if memory serves the overall entertainment level was pretty high.
As for the other space-oriented books: obviously there were many that I loved: Jim Starlin's "Warlock" series, and in particular the Avengers Annual 7 / Marvel Two in One Annual 2 masterpiece. In the pursuit of brevity we'll leave it at that for now; let's get ready to hear from you. The Universe is large, and so is the subject. Proceed to launch with all your thoughts about comics and space; and if the fates allow, I'll meet you someday in orbit (I still haven't given up hope yet)...