Fiction House title Planet Comics has long been considered one of the most collectible titles of the Golden Age. The combination of hard-charging and inventive science fiction, compelling characters, good girl art, strong heroes and heroines, strange creatures on other planets, and overall outstanding execution by a cast of stand-out creators like Lily Renée, Marcia Snyder, Ruth Atkinson, Frances Hopper, Murphy Anderson, Matt Baker, Nick Cardy, Joe Doolin, Graham Ingels, George Evans, Ruben Moreira, John Cullen Murphy, George Tuska, and Maurice Whitman has kept it in the hearts and minds of readers, collectors, historians, and anyone who loves classic American science fiction since it was published.
Imagine the scene. A young comics fan, having slowly built his small comics shop into a mini-chain of local comic book emporiums, stands wide-eyed in the basement of a Colorado home, surrounded by stacks of immaculately preserved comics virtually untouched since their publication nearly a half-century before. Issues heretofore unheard of, or at least not seen on the burgeoning collectors market, first appearances of every major Golden Age hero, scarce second-tier publishers' forgotten works, all of it in impossible condition, like a portal to the past. The Edgar Church/Mile High collection was the first major comics pedigree and is still the most revered and respected, the gold standard for Golden Age comics.
Deep in those stacks was a run of Planet Comics. The first comic book devoted exclusively to science fiction, the scrappy genre that grew from the sweaty fever dreams of Victorian fantasists and exploded in the pages of the pulps, to eventually become the major American pop genre, and the modern mythology that continues to captivate the attention of the world. Planet was the four-color inheritor of publisher Fiction House's sci-fi pulps, boasting spectacular covers, soaring storytelling, barrel-chested heroes, and the eye-popping art of most of the period's major illustrative talents. Soaked in mystery, drama, high science, and a generous dose of cheesecake, these majestic works brought the grand scale and brash spirit of sci-fi to a new readership of young and impressionable minds, many of whom, inspired, went on to create their own worlds in galaxies far, far away, and in final frontiers around the universe. It's impossible to stress how important this series was to sci-fi history and a glance at these remarkable covers will seem like a Rosetta Stone for modern science-fiction enthusiasts.
Planet Comics #1 was released as a companion book to Fiction House's Planet Stories pulp novels. The comic features art by legends Will Eisner and Lou Fine as well as Murphy Anderson (under the pen name Leonardo Vinci). The book also features the origin of Auro, Lord of Jupiter and appearances by Flint Baker, Spurt Hammond, and The Red Comet. The highest-graded (1 of 2) example of Planet #1 in this auction is to die for, with blazing reds, sumptuous greens, lush greys, and glowing yellows in the logo, bearing only the slightest of imperfections, this is an incredibly rare book and there is guaranteed to be a heavyweight slugfest over this Golden Age gem.