Thursday, October 20, 2011
Read: Flash Comics #21
Title: "Menace From Space"
Published Date: Sep. 1941
Generation: Golden Age Hawkman
Retcon Status: In Continuity
Summary: Hawkman is on patrol when he spots a space ship crashing! Investigating, he finds a race of giants on board, along with a mysterious egg and a journal -- half in an alien language and half in English. He learns that the egg is the gestating infant of the giants, who are from Neptune. Carter takes the egg home to study it, but Shiera plays a prank on him by swiping it, and the egg eventually winds up in the hands of Noel Ratchford, who is also experimenting with growing things inside eggs.
Eventually the egg hatches, and a Neptunian boy emerges. Noel begins to train the boy to be his tool for destruction, claiming to be Carter Hall so that the boy will commit acts of carnage in his name. Noel sends the boy on a killing spree, using the electrical fire-beams from his eyes and destroying buildings. Hawkman swoops in with a spear, blinding the giant in one eye and forcing him to take him to his master. Finding Noel, the giant boy tries to kill both of them, but Hawkman kills the alien and gets Noel arrested, clearing himself in the process.
Review: There's some insane moments in this story, from the very concept of a giant baby hatching from an egg, to his eventual rampage through New York, including stomping a woman under his foot! It's like something from a daikaiju movie. Beyond that, this is a rather out-there science fiction story. The whole concept of a giant blue skinned alien from Neptune shooting electronic beams from his eyes is pretty darn awesome. Unfortunately the Noel plot takes up too much time and takes away a lot of panels from Hawkman fighting a giant humanoid alien. Hawkman gets to act fairly barbaric here, including spearing the alien in the eye, and then stabbing him in the back of the neck to kill him! Pretty fun short story all told.
As usual, Moldoff gets in some glamorous panels of Shiera even if she is partly responsible for the Neptunian's appearance. Moldoff's cover is also one of the best I have seen so far in this series.
Image: Flash Comics #21, 1941, Sheldon Moldoff.