Thursday, November 23, 2023

The lead story's basically "Avatar," you'd think I'd remember that.

I would've enjoyed these if I'd seen them when they first came out, but I'm a little disappointed I didn't remember picking this up already: at least, I said I got all four issues when we looked at the first some time back. The stories didn't immediately seem familiar to me when I read this now, though. From 1976, Starstream #4, featuring "Call Me Joe" Story by Poul Anderson, adapted by George Kashdan, art by Adolf Buylla; "Benjamin Franklin--'Martian'" Written by Pamela Eckard--really Arnold Drake! Art by Frank Bolle. "Does a Bee Care?" Story by Isaac Asimov, adapted by Al Moniz, art by Jack Abel; "The City" Story by Stephan Goldin, adapted by Arnold Drake, art by José Delbo; "Report to the Plenary Council" Story by Roger Elwood, adapted by George Kashdan, art by Al McWilliams; and finally "And the Blood Ran Green" Story by Robert Bloch, adapted by Arnold Drake, art by Nevio Zeccara. 

It feels like I should've remembered "Call Me Joe" at least, since the plot is strongly reminiscent of James Cameron's Avatar, as a wheelchair-bound old scientist experiments and plots to transfer his consciousness to a new body: a synthetic "pseudojovian" created to live on Jupiter. The scientist eventually achieves his goal, after shipping himself a mate. "Benjamin Franklin--'Martian'" follows an alien scientist assigned to study a certain primitive blue-green planet, and when an unlucky child electrocutes himself flying a kite in a thunderstorm, he takes the identity of Benjamin Franklin! While he wasn't supposed to interfere in human development, yeah, he kinda does, partly to cover for his other experiments, partly because the locals were "such hotheads!" His final grade isn't great, though.
In "Does a Bee Care?" an engineer struggling to complete a rocket design, has flashes of inspiration whenever he's around stargazing janitor Kane. Although he isn't helping on purpose, Kane knows he is, even if he doesn't really understand why, as he hasn't understood nudging mankind forward for thousands of years! But why, and what does he plan for mankind? This copy was missing the conclusion there, and a couple pages of the next story, "The City," as computer control orders a soldier to explore a mysterious city, where 15 others have already disappeared.
"Report to the Plenary Council" resembles a British sci-fi movie; as a scientist and his soldier attaché investigate the mystery of humans suddenly mummifying, and horribly deformed attackers from beneath the earth. But, there's more than meets the eye, even if I think part of this one's plot was in Godzilla vs. Megalon. "And the Blood Ran Green" is fairly straightforward horror, as a crew surveying a lushly overgrown alien world encounter nightmare plants: well-executed creepiness there.
I suppose I'll have to wait-and-see if I buy this, or any of the other issues, the next time I see them in the quarterbins. I'm going to go ahead and guess probably.

1 comment:

Mr. Morbid's House Of Fun said...

Happy Turkey Day to you & yours & to all the other regular commenters on here.

Yeah, you know you'll definitely end up buying more of these. Why resist?

That 1st story definitely looks like Avatar alright, just minus the more ascetically pleasing blue alien looks.

Goddamn how brutal was that commentary on that panel of kid Franklin getting electrocuted. Damn that's cold.

Good question about the Spider. Apparently they do after millions of years of it being hard-wired into their dna. I bet most architects wish they had that kind of head-start when it comes to constructing buildings.