Welcome to the exciting world of The Future! I’m your host, Dave Lartigue, and each Wednesday I’ll be taking you on an exciting and educational journey into the time to come! Sit back, pull up a cosmo chair, pour a space drink, and enjoy!
Today’s story is a gigantic 12-page epic, but the first few pages are completely superfluous. Seriously, I’m going to skip to page four and let you know what you “missed” after we’re done.
Meet Nivar Storman. He has an interesting job!
Let me tell you a little bit about space-whales and space-whaling. Space-whales are mammals that fly through space, occasionally coming down on a planet with an atmosphere to breathe. A single gulp of air can last the space-whale for months. They are pursued because their hides are impenetrable, which is why the suction-cup harpoons are needed.
Now, if there are any Greenpeace types in the audience, don’t be alarmed!
See, they’re only being skinned alive in space, not harmed. So quit your whining.
The whale hide is then used to protect the outer hulls of rockets, some of which can then go into space to skin space-whales and that’s the cycle of life.
This goes on for several years, and by the time Earth goes to war against the planet Ggrend, Stormin’ Storman is an old grizzled space-whaler; too old, in fact, to join up with the Space-Navy.
One day Storman is listening to war coverage on his space radio when he hears alarming news!
This could mean disaster for Earth if the Ggrends get Dr. Martin to talk! Something has got to be done…but what? After thinking about it for some time, Storman comes up with a rescue plan. It’s crazy, but it just might work!
What’s Storman’s plan? Build a fake space-whale to penetrate the Ggrends’ defenses! The Earth Commanders, having lost one of their brilliant minds, decide to roll with the plan, and soon:
Storman and his crew enter the imitation cetacean and head for the planet Ggrend. The Ggrends, noting something entering their atmosphere, prepare to shoot it down with space-torpedoes. but hold their fire when they see it’s just a space-whale. But this space-whale does something unusual: it comes to rest just outside their walled city. The Ggrends figure the whale was sick and died, and sure enough, they haul it into the city to be cruelly stripped of its very flesh like the savages Ggrends are.
That night the Earthmen sneak out of the fake whale and head for the prison where Doc Martin is being held. After subduing a handful of guards, they get to the scientist’s cell. But when they open it they are shocked to find, instead of a guy who is happy to be rescued:
The Ggrends have ray-boarded Dr. Martin and now he’s a big fan of Ggrend! He runs to pull the alarm to alert more guards, but Storman quickly shoots him with a paralyo-ray to knock him out. They get him back to the space-whale and take off, followed by Ggrend fighters.
And the comes the best moment of all.
Hold on, folks. Give me a second to catch my breath after that.
Okay, so they make it away from Ggrend, and Doc Martin’s ray-washing wears off and they get him back to Earth, where he is able to develop a new nuclear weapon that forces the Ggrends to surrender. And all thanks to Nivar Storman, who loved Earth so much and is the only dude represented in this museum without a uniform.
Oh, right. So as I said at the beginning, this exciting story apparently needed four more pages added to it, so first of all, it’s being narrated by a dude in a future museum. He’s shown these kids a display of space heroes and one tyke asked why one of the heroes isn’t in any kind of military uniform because who ever heard of someone other than a soldier ever doing anything heroic? So the museum guy tells us about Nivar Storman.
But this wasn’t padding enough, so we also had to learn that Storman was born on a far-away space colony and was obsessed with Earth. In his desire to reach this beloved planet of his, he even tried to transport himself there with a package transmitter designed for sending inanimate cargo through space.
He barely survives this scheme (and doesn’t make it to Earth), which is why his dad sells him to a space-whaling cartel. And now you know the unnecessary rest of the story.
“The Trojan Whale of Space”
Mystery in Space #76 (DC Comics, June 1962)
Writer: John Broome
Penciler: Sid Greene
Inker: Sid Greene
Editor: Julius Schwartz