Monday, November 16, 2009

Space Western Comics: Stone Men from Space

Hm, I wonder what this story (the Strong Bow feature from #44) could be about.

We get our first hint that the title is probably meaningful in the very first panel, which is not actually a symbolic panel as is often the case with older comics.

Oh, good grief, are these people blind or what? I mean, every single one of those is blatantly shaped like a lumpy human figure. Even that live cactus is kind of suspicious-looking.

That cactus makes Strong Bow's and Rapid Fox's statements on things growing in the desert kinda... idiotic, doesn't it? (They later say that nothing can grow in the desert; Mr. Cactus disagrees.)

Anyway, Martian Princess Thula tells them that her pluvia flowers can grow anywhere-their native desert only gets a single drop of rainfall every thousand years. Let me repeat that for emphasis-one drop, one thousand years.

I think they'll grow.

And the flowers agree with me, with interest. (Also, note Strong Bow's... rather peculiar joke about Rapid Fox's name.)

What does this have to do with stone men from space? Not much, it would seem...

...except, of course, for the fact that they just randomly choose that exact moment to wake up.

And they're ambitious stone men from space.

They don't actually sound very excited about it, do they? "Stupid world, we must conquer you now."

Also, "Earth worms?" Did the writer do that intentionally?

Note that this implies that the stone men somehow got to Earth under their own power, without technological assistance. Holy moly.

Despite being really loud, they're really sneaky, too.

Strong Bow and Rapid Fox have no idea where they are, in the middle of an open desert. Their observational skills are just staggering.

And it turns out their primitive weapons have no effect on the stone men.

And before you ask, no, rifles don't work either. Neither does this knife.

Resistance is apparently futile, and the stone men promptly tie them to the pluvia tree.

At first, their open declaration that they couldn't be held by ropes struck me as incongruous, but then I realized-the stone men don't speak English. And I thought, "Wow, the author could have done more to make that clear."

Anyway, within a few minutes, they're free, and pursuing the stone men in a jeep.

Wait wait wait, you're not even going to try heavy conventional weapons? What's wrong with you, man?

Also, what could they possibly be planning to do with pluvia arrows?

Guess, I dare you.


They're trapping the stone men in a huge mess of rapidly growing Martian trees.

Which brings us to an oddity concerning the earlier fact that the stone men apparently aren't supposed to speak English...

Why do they make such a point of saying that these are "non-petrified" trees? What? Huh? For that matter, why do these guys even know what trees are? Do they have those on Canis?

Anyway, then they drop an atomic bomb on them. (Must be a little one, since Strong Bow and Rapid Fox get away on their jeep.) So the stone men are dead now-

-wait, what?

The stone men are still alive, but sleeping?

Holy moly, they're Kryptonian stone men, aren't they?

I mean, think about it. They can fly through space, they don't need to breathe, they're functionally immortal, and they can withstand an (admittedly wimpy) atomic bomb with no apparent injuries.

-Signing off.

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