Lasting 73 issues from January 1940 to Winter 1953, Planet Comics is the most important science fiction title in American comic book history. It’s a fascinating series from start to finish, but Planet Comics #69 is interesting for reasons that are a little different than most. This issue was discussed at length in the book Parade of Pleasure: A Study of Popular Iconography in the USAwhich was a counterpart of sorts to the more infamous Seduction of the Innocent, and published first in the UK. Part of the mid-1950s moral panic atmosphere against comic books, Parade of Pleasure goes on in detail about Planet Comics #69‘s cover by Pierre Whitmanthe Red Comet story drawn by Rudy Palais and the Gale Allen and the Girl Squadron story by drawn by Saul Rosen. Such specific comic book issue mentions from Seduction of the Innocent, Parade of Pleasure and similar publications are highly collected for their historical importance, and there’s a Planet Comics #69 (Fiction House, 1952) Condition: FN up for auction in the 2022 May 29-30 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122222 at Heritage Auctions.
“The fantastic science books, with trips to Mars and back, are increasing, but there is little new in them, except to note that our relations with our neighboring planets are those of continual aggression,” begins Parade of Pleasure author Geoffrey Wagner as he started to discuss Planet Comics #69. “We visit these astral bodies with only one apparent intention, to conquer, and ‘Taste an Earthman’s Fist!’ Vile monsters abound in these unexplored places and a girl, an attractive girl of course, and with her skirt above her hips, is apt to find herself in the jaws of a sort of leprous looking winged crocodile, like the one in Planet Comics no 69. And the inter-planetary zones have their Superman heroes too, like the Red Comet, a muscular he-man who, in this Planet Comics book, is assisted by Dolores, who clubs a man unconscious then says proudly, ‘I’ve made this mug change his mind, Red!’ This book has everything, incidentally, it even has a Wonder Woman of outer space, called Gale Allen, who is shown in the opening picture slicing off the head of a swarthy-skinned opponent who is throttling one of her female assistants. wrestles one man, cracks another on the nut with an oar (`Maybe this’ll put sense into you!’), and takes a third for a ‘water-baby’ ride. As she herself has on no more than red bra and panties, secured with a wide, studded belt, knee-length boots and bracelets… there are some moments that might conceivably be considered rather more obscene.”
Out of all of this entire commentary, it must be admitted that “This book has everything” is certainly accurate, and Gale Allen could arguably be described as a Wonder Woman of outer space, as could a number of other Planet Comics characters. A unique issue of an iconic series from a historical perspective, there’s a Planet Comics #69 (Fiction House, 1952) Condition: FN up for auction in the 2022 May 29-30 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122222 at Heritage Auctions.