Astonishing #54: "The World Of Flame!"

Astonishing #54
"The World Of Flame!"
October, 1956

Story: Unknown
Art: Charles F. Miller

Louder than a thousand banshees was the wind! The waves swelled until they blotted out the sky and then crashed with thunder! One wave came that dwarfed the rest... and the ship flew upward with its crew on their way to... "The World Of Flame!" The ship's captain told his men to brace themselves, for they would be pitching down through the wave any moment now! The downward dive never came, for they were still going upward!

Caught in the grip of a mysterious force, the ship continued to rise, and its crew blacked out as their craft soared towards the burning sun! When the crew awoke, all was calm, and one of the crewmen had dreamt that they had been flying through the air! Each man had the same dream! A strange craft approached their own and they were welcomed to the World Of Flame! Unknown to the Earthlings, the ring of flame around the sun concealed an alien civilization! The storm was caused by one of the spots in their ring of flame and it was the accident of the giant wave that tossed them into the path of the radio beam they use to guide their own spacecraft home!

The entire crew felt dread, for surely their loved ones would be worried, and with good reason! The Earthmen waited as the sun-beings discussed the matter among themselves. The sun-beings board their own craft once more and wave goodbye as the ship begins to spin in a whirlpool that had appeared from nowhere! It spun faster... and faster! The ship and its crew were being drawn down until they were staring up at the star-studded sky! The stars told them they were back on Earth, but not if what they had experienced had been a dream! As the crewmen go below and saw one another, each one was aware that they had been sailing the northern route in the dead of winter! They were all sunburned than anyone else could have been on Earth! The mark of the world of flame remained on all of their faces!

This story was reprinted in Amazing Adventures #26 (September, 1974).

The Human Torch's world was flame.

One wonders if Sub-Mariner was up to his old tricks with the giant wave.

Cyclops once convinced the Sentinels to attack the source of mutation, the sun itself!

The Inhumans are an example of a secret civilization.

The sun-beings are bald and wear red tunics with black capes.

Superman derives his strength from Earth's yellow sun and lighter gravity.

Steve Chung
"The World Of Review!"