Mystery in Space 56

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The Menace of the Super Atom

The greatest teams in entertainment. This story marks the first time ever that Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson joined their masterful individual talents for a single tour de Zeta-beam. This inaugurated the greatest partnership of artists in the history of the medium. 

It’s a nifty little space adventure story too!

Adam Strange arrives on the planet Rann, greeted only by his sweetheart’s empty vehicle. “Where is Alanna?” The flier’s automatic controls deliver Adam to some old Rannian ruins, where an evil alien has established his base for his invasion of Rann!

This isn’t your everday alien invasion. This villain looks like a single atom, expanded to a million million time the appropriate size of an atom. It sort of looks like this…

The concept of a giant atom borrowed from an earlier Adam Strange story

The Atom (not the Atom, but this Atom) controls an army of inanimate material – sand, stone, dirt – he animates them like men and sends them to battle.

This Atom releases Alanna, expecting the reunited duo to provide some entertainment for him as they feebly resist his invasion.

Traditional fighting just doesn’t work against this army of stone men. Any that are defeated are quickly replaced by this Atom’s remote consciousness.

This Atom has Rann’s champion against the wall. In his desperation, Adam cries out, “Stop! Don’t hurt Alanna!”

It obeyed.

And that was that. Adam yelled stop and the thing stopped. He told this Atom to call down its army and it did.

Adam’s solution is based on the idea that this Atom could only affect inanimate matter and that Adam, being a human, was of a higher intelligence. Simply calling on this fact that we so take for granted, Adam Strange needed to just say stop and the thing backed off like a frightened puppy.

Now there’s something very Geeks of Christ about that. There is something special about who we are. We have a dignity that seems to transcend our actions and supposed limitations. Look at Adam. He’s just a normal earthman. No powers. No fancy gizmos besides typical Rannian equipment. And here he is facing a super-intelligent, ancient, endlessly mysterious alien.

He shouldn’t be able to win. And he certainly shouldn’t be able to win with so simple a solution. But by simply asserting his identity and claiming that there should be justice here instead of cruelty, he wins.

That’s the power that Christians have. If Christians call on the Holy Spirit, our identity as Children of the Creator of the Universe is asserted and we need only speak to defeat whatever darkness is upon us.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that we can just walk around saying things that we want and expect to get them. But the Bible does seem to indicate a power to cooperate with God as He stretches His Kingdom over the world as it is now. There’s a promise that His Kingdom will come – in a full physical manifestation. But there’s also a sense that it’s here already! Where His Church is worshiping Him and serving Him (by serving others a lot of times). Where people are healed, there’s a preview of the Kingdom. Where people are getting along and forgiving and repenting and being restored – His Kingdom is there in those moments and in those lives.

And anyway, with that sense of the Kingdom being here already, we can speak and things can happen. The powers of darkness have no authority over Christians anymore. We can claim the power of Christ and His resurrection and be freed from oppression. We need only call on the name of Jesus Christ, aloud or silently, and extend His Kingdom over that moment and that place we’re in.

I got way off track.

What was I talking about?

Oh! Right. This comic. Yeah, it illustrates the power that simple words can have to spread the Kingdom of God.

I think it does anyway…

The Raider of the Waterless World

A bored delivery man laments his position as so many other exciting things are happening in the galaxy. He’s delivering water in little spheres to some barren world as bad aliens are discovered to be on the path to earth!

He’s the only ship in the vicinity and has to act! So when he’s in range, he fires his water capsules through the void and they explode like missiles when they make contact with the invading alien vessels.

Malleable soft water, that would just run over your fingers, that you invite into your and over your body every day, becomes powerful enough to save the entire human race.

Water becomes powerful as described by Jesus. As a major Jewish holiday was coming to a close and everyone was slowing down, Jesus shot up from his seat and shouted, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7: 37, 38)

Water is powerful. We see it in this silly old story. We see it in nature, as rivers and floods reveal the transience of man’s structures. And we see it as Jesus reveals it as a metaphor for the coming of the Holy Spirit and the salvation of the world.

Super-Cook of Space

Some earthmen are employed an alien world. When they eat the food of that world, their appearance changes to match that of the indigenous people.

The aliens wanted to attack the humans but are thwarted by the sudden change in the earthmen.

By resembling their enemies, the earthmen win!

Similarly did Christ walk among his enemies – us. He became one of us. Eating, drinking, sleeping, everything. And, like the aliens in this silly little story, we were his enemies. We planned attacks against Him for no good reason.

His victory wasn’t military though. Well, not exactly. Well maybe it kind of was a military victory.

He dressed like us, becoming a human, and then instead of lashing out against us, as we deserved, He lashed out against Himself. The anger that the Father had against His petulant and rebellious creation was delivered onto His own perfect Son.

So I guess this story would resemble the Gospel a bit more if the humans changed shape to look like the aliens, their enemies, and then stormed the enemy camp and started killing themselves.


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