This Used to Be the Future: What Is This Space?

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 was published by Charlton Comics, which explains a lot. Have you ever seen those knock-off Batman comics from, like, India? Charlton Comics often resemble those. The text reads as though it’s been through Babelfish a number of times, and the art just seems…off. But don’t let any of that distract you from the rock-solid storytelling going on here.

Din is the commander of one of the new XXA-3 Space Bombers, which features the very latest in weaponry. This is needed because of the “many space wars” his people have fought. He gets orders to destroy a passenger vessel, but when he examines the ship closer he sees:

Obviously he can’t fire at that, so he refuses, at which point he is removed from command.

The space Lusitania gets away and Din is hauled before the authorities. For his treason, he is banished! And brother, banishment is not a pleasant affair among Din-kind. He’s taken to a deserted asteroid and pushed out of a spaceship that doesn’t even bother to land!

Without food, water, air, or a device to manufacture them from nothing, he’s pretty much been handed a death sentence, which he protests by jumping around in the low gravity until he knocks himself unconscious.

However, against all odds, he is found by another human!

And it’s not some schlub in a space suit, either:

He’s been rescued by Sugar, all grown up! She might be a beautiful lady, but to Din, she’s the enemy. He doesn’t need to understand her language to know that she is taking him back to her home planet to be executed.

When he lands he is introduced to another young lady, Fiuma, who can speak Din’s language (or, as the narration says, “he learns words in his own tongue.”) Din asks when he is to be executed and Fiuma informs him that he won’t be put to death because they live by “the Golden Rule”.

Fiuma tells Din he has a choice: he can stay on this planet with them or they can return him to his home planet. Din, not being dim, opts for the former, even though he doesn’t know the name of the planet. DO YOU, READER?

WHAAAAA?

Sadly, we don’t know what year Earth becomes this halcyon paradise, but given that the women are all supporting fabulous Palinesque up-dos, I assume it’s shortly after 2012.

“What Is This Space?”
Space Adventures #7 (Charlton, May 1969)
Writer: unknown
Penciler: Charles Nicholas
Inker: unknown (possibly Vince Alascia)
Editor: Sal Gentile

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