Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Saturday, April 14, 2018


Super Detective Library was a British digest-sized comic book published twice a month from 1953 to 1960, alternating a detective story with a science fiction story for much of its run.  Many of the early issues featured stories based on characters from popular authors -- Leslie Charteris, Edgar Wallace, Sax Rohmer, E. Phillips Oppenheim, Graham Greene, John Creasey, Victor Canning, and others.  Most issues had original stories from anonymous American, Canadian, and British writers and artists (among them Harry Harrison, Bill Lacey, Ron Embleton, and Ron Turner),  although some of the later issues featured reprints from the Rip Kirby comics strip.  Characters created for the series included Rick Ransom, Lesley Shane, Special Agent John Steel, Buck Ryan, and Dirk Rogers.

"The Men from the Stars" features "Rod Collins -- Agent in Space!" as he manages to foil an extraterrestial invasion.  As we open, Rod Collins is a test pilot flying a plane "affectionately known as Nuclear Nellie" when he ordered to fly the top-secret plane to America's Mount Arapaho, home of the world's largest telescope.  A "comet" is approaching Earth, but it is not acting like a normal comet.  Rod is ordered to take Nuclear Nellie and photograph the approaching object.  It is not a spoiler to report that the comet was actually an alien spaceship.

A large saucer-shaped disk is released from the alien ship.  It hovers closely over a small hamlet; when it rises, the hamlet is gone!  Earth's defenses are powerless against the invaders and their machines.  The aliens are using their advanced technology to capture villages, machines, and other spoils of war -- all the while leaving a path of destruction.

A new nuclear plane is developed and Rod is tasked with flying it but the plane -- and Rod -- is captured by the aliens and brought to the mother ship, where Rod discovers that the aliens had not only attacked Earth but had also attacked other, unknown, planets.

How can Rod defeat the aliens and free their human hostages?

Find out when you click on the link and enjoy a great tale from the early 1950s and it superb artwork.