Mystery In Space #41: "The Planet That Advanced Backward!"

Mystery In Space #41
"The Planet That Advanced Backward!"
December - January 1958

Story By: Bill Finger
Art By: Sid Greene and Bernard Sachs

On the distant planet of Tyro, a vacationing family finds a small world
where civilization resembles that of the caveman from long ago.  The how
and why of this is to be discovered on "The Planet That Advanced
Backward!"  In the year of 3000, a family spends their holiday by riding
their space-roadster away from Earth.  They hope to forget about their
planet's war with Saturn.

Days pass without incident, but the roadster soon develops some engine
trouble.  Janos steers it towards a little-known world named Tyro.  The
planet had been colonized some fifty years ago.  Janos and his family
will be the first ones to visit this planet since the colonization
occurred.  As they close in, the kids see that Tyro is much smaller than
Earth's moon.  They also see that the planet also has both a red sun and
a green sun.  After landing the space-roadster, the family sees the
crumbled remains of huge skyscrapers.  Several rocket cruisers are also
rusting beneath Tyro's two suns.  His wife wonders what happened to the
colonists, but Janos suggests that they continue their search.

As they come across other abandoned structures, the family can see that
each building is more primitive than the previous one.  Even the mode of
transportation has regressed from the most modern to the most ancient.
It would appear that evolution has been reversed on this planet.  Janos
and his family meet the colonists, who emerge from their log cabins, and
closely resemble the cavemen from the past.

The leader explains that shortly after the skyscrapers were built, a
horde of metal-eating insects consumed them.  Brick buildings were next,
but emanations from the green sun caused the brick structures to
disintegrate.  After much trial and error, the inhabitants found that log
cabins were the best way to go.  Janos now asks the leader why they
abandoned rockets and autos on Tyro.  Rocketships made for long distances
were useless on the small planet of Tyro.

Airplanes were then used, but the propellers would cause great storms to
sweep the land.  Travel by rail was tried, but since Tyro was a hollow
planet, the vibrations would cause earthquakes.  Rubber-tired automobiles
were used, but the fuel emissions poisoned the air quality on Tyro.
Ox-like beasts pulling carts proved to be the best method of
transportation on the planet.  Janos sees that the leader and his people
are wearing animal skins, not the plastic clothing worn by the colonists.
Their clothes had begun to rot, caused by the aroma from the odd
plant-life.  Cotton and wool were tried, but the supply was soon used up.
Animal skins were the only clothing of choice on Tyro.  The wife asks
why the colonists use bows and arrows instead of the customary ray-guns.

The animals on Tyro were completely disintegrated when blasted by
ray-gun. When rifles were used, the sound of the shots were deafening.
Only the simple but practical method of the bow-and-arrow proved to be
successful.  The wife wonders how the colonists could live under such
conditions, but the leader tells the family that he and his fellow
inhabitants have found a peaceful, fulfilling existence on Tyro.  They
now live with nature on a peaceful planet, as opposed to being subjected
to the stresses of a world under the threat of atomic war.  Janos and his
family decide to stay on Tyro, where they have found a true home at last.

This story was reprinted in Strange Adventures #224 (May - June, 1970).

Janos wears a blue tunic, yellow short sleeved shirt and orange pants
with purple shoes.

His wife wears a yellow blouse and matching skirt.

The two children resemble their parents in miniature.

In the year 3000, families are free to travel through space for the
holidays.  The space-roadster is the preferred form of travel for the
family.  I'm sure that Space Cabbie is probably making a buck or two in
this era, too.

Under a red sun, Superman would lose all of his super-powers.  His native
planet of Krypton orbited a red sun.

Under a green sun, the man of steel's powers were less than they would be
under Earth's yellow sun.

The Flintstones were the modern stone age family.

Among the many animals native to Krypton was a metal-eating mole.  One
was kept inside a glass cage in the bottle city of Kandor.

The gas fumes from automobiles doesn't exactly do wonders for Earth's

Ray Bradbury's short story, "A Sound of Thunder" dealt with a safari
which took place in the distant past.

The humble bow-and-arrow is the chosen weapon used by the likes of Green
Arrow, Speedy, and Hawkeye The Marksman.

The Atomic Knights were formed after World War III in October, 1986..

Steve Chung
The Review That Advanced Backward!"