Amazing Adventures #4

Amazing Adventures #4

OK, obviously it's a judgment call whether one story or issue is
more subpar than the mass of other stuff of the period. I'll
agree "worst-written ever" was too extreme. Still, I think they
were on the lower end for their time period in the sci-fi and horror
fields, not measuring up to EC (obviously), Atlas, Ace, Avon, Ajax-
Farrell, DC, Fiction House--all of which are generally at least
somewhat readable in my opinion. I pulled out my Amazing Adventures
4 for assessment.

1. Cover is great. Major headlights, a bizarre and kinky premise
with a robot being controlled by a little green man seducing an
enraptured and well-endowed blonde. I could have done without the
drool dripping from the alien's mouth, but so be it.

2. The story to go with the cover isn't too bad. Two little green
men on a reconnaissance mission to earth prior to the big invasion
discover that men are "subject to a paralyzing emotion known as
LOVE." They have some unexplained "personal magnetism fluid" that
they inject into two strangely human-looking robots they brought
along (of different genders no less) and instantly all the earth
people of the opposite gender that encounter these robots fall head-
over-heels. Apparently somehow that means they can take over the
earth. However, the robots fall in love with each other, kick the
aliens over a cliff and elope in their flying saucer. Pretty goofy
but an entertainingly novel storyline anyway.

3. The Murphy Anderson story, "Mutineers of Ganymede!", is more
typical of what I associate with Z-D, cheesy sci-fi. Earth
colonists land on Ganymede and discover mass quantities of gold,
diamonds and uranium. Some want to return to earth with their
newfound riches but the captain isn't interested. "Fools! We came
across millions of miles of space to find a home! We seek peace and
happiness...not corrupting riches!" The head mutineer pulls his
blaster on the captain, but the captain manages to turn it into a
fistfight with a quick move and is victorious. The "bad guys"
revolt again later and get control of the spaceship. They load it
with uranium. They say they're not really bad and anyone can come
with them back to earth. All the "good" colonists refuse. But
then, the Captain says, "I'll go with you. I know when I'm
licked." Such treachery! The "bad guys" welcome him with open arms
but of course it is a ruse. He gains control of the spaceship and
commands them to bring it back to Ganymede. Then they overhear a
radio signal from Earth announcing that an endless supply of uranium
has been found on the moon and it is now "as inexpensive as common
salt." (Guess they should have loaded up some of the gold and
--this is the kind of lame sci-fi with cardboard characters and
unbelievable plot twists that I was talking about. I don't expect a
lot from these types of stories, but this seems really less than
average to me.

3. This is actually a horror story. A doctor comes to treat a very
sick boy worth a fortune. The boy's evil uncle kills the doctor in
a set-up car crash so the boy will die and the uncle will inherit.
But lo, the uncle gets to the hospital and the doctor is there
operating! The uncle says, "You can't be here! I killed you!" The
uncle goes to investigate the car, which blows up as he approaches--
killing him. The doctor mysteriously disappears and his body is
discovered in the car, miles from the hospital.
--this is a tried-and-true clunker plot. Probably 100 stories like
it in the precode and postcode 50s.

4. Another sci-fi "space opera" type story. May be Gil Kane art--
looks kind of like Kubert lite. A Han Solo type spaceship owner
agrees to follow a map in search of an asteroid of uranium for a
sister and brother. Evil claim-jumpers follow their progress. The
brother gets suspicious that the spaceship owner is a claim-jumper
and sabotages the steering mechanism of the lifeboat he is using to
explore the asteroids right after he locates the uranium asteroid.
However, the owner cleverly manages to get the ship to turn around
by standing on the bottom of it with his magnetic shoes. (???-don't
ask me, I have no idea how that would make a spaceship hurtling
through space suddenly make a hairpin turn).
The claim-jumpers have since attacked. The bad guys force the
brother and sister to sign over their claim, planning to leave them
to die on the asteroid. (So why did they need to sign over
their "claim" in the first place? They certainly hadn't filed
anything establishing their rights. Obviously I don't understand
the rules for staking a claim to a uranium asteroid.) The spaceship
owner returns just in time to save the day.
Somehow the claim-jumpers don't see him approaching in his out-of-
control spaceship, crash-landing I assume (or do the brakes still
work?), and entering the "glassite tent" they are in (which is made
of clear glass by the way). Once inside, though, one of the claim-
jumpers shoots at him. Either the brother or the sister bravely
pushes him aside (per the pictures it's the sister but per the word
balloons it's the brother). The bullet or whatever the gun shoots
blasts a hole in the glassite tent, letting all the oxygen escape.
Of course, only the captain has a spacesuit on. Luckily he has time
to get spacesuits to the brother and sister but sadly not to the
claim-jumpers as well.
--okay I try to do the whole "willing suspension of disbelief" thing
but really. There comes a point where it just doesn't work anymore.