Monday, December 27, 2010

Mysta of the Moon - Chapter 18

Originally presented here from a November 2009 post is "Mystery of the Time Chamber" from issue #52 of the Mysta of the Moon serial featured in Planet Comics. For those of you who have read this entry already go ahead and scroll down to the last page for a note about Mysta and Bron's relationship (it's fan-wank, but it works in context).

Before I continue with the Futura Saga I am going to take a break to present a special request appearance of Mysta of the Moon.

Mysta of the Moon was long-running science fiction adventure serial that ran in Planet Comics from 1945 to 1949. Mysta is perhaps the most consistent serial in regards to art and story quality to have been published by Fiction House. Mysta originally appeared as a young girl in issue #35 of Planet Comics as a victim of the machinations of Mars, the God of War, the star of an early and very popular Planet Comics serial. In those stories, the evil Mars would travel the galaxy and possess different people, forcing them to commit horrific acts and spread terror and strife all in the name of conflict.

Having survived an attempt to destroy her at the end of issue #35 an adult Mysta began her own feature with issue #36, effectively replacing the Mars series with her own. Like many superheroes Mysta, who was now the repository of all knowledge, sometimes maintained a secret identity so the public at large would not know she was acting as their savior and defender. In her guise as an older and unappealing librarian, Mysta fought criminals, mutant zombies and solved mysteries with the aid of a deadly, unstoppable robot with which she shared a telepathic link. Mysta eventually
abandoned the pretense of a civilian disguise.

Out of all the female characters featured in Planet Comics it is Mysta of the Moon that was the strongest in terms of characterization. Unlike many other contemporary characters Mysta largely stood on her own in her adventures. Typically in almost any comic book tale, while a female would often act as the lead in a story it was not unusual to have a man show up near the end of the tale and take charge, wrapping things up as the female character shed angst-filled thought balloons expressing gratitude and unrequited love. Among the Planet Comics entries this was most common among the Gale Allen serial. Mysta, being the most intelligent person in the Universe, would have none of that. Anyone interested in researching a good example of early female empowerment in comic books could do worse than reading the Mysta of the Moon series.

Planet Comics #52 (January 1948) features Mysta using time travel to defeat the menace of brain-sucking plants. The story also gives a nice recap of her origin with only an oblique reference to the original Mars story.

Enjoy!

I realize that it is a print artifact of the era but it sure appears in the final panel as if Mysta's lipstick has been smeared by some grateful kissing from Bron.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm... I;ll have the entree without a salad, thank you. ;o)

    ReplyDelete

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