The Atlas Comics Library No. 3: In the Days of the Rockets! Available August 6

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Author: Joe Maneely & Hank Chapman & Mike Sekowsky

Expanding Fantagraphics’ project to reprint Marvel Comics’ 1950s genre titles, this volume blasts off to space opera adventure.

In the vein of earlier comics-to-multimedia stars Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon, Atlas Comics launched their own pulp hero in 1951, looking ahead to the futuristic year 2000. Across five issues of Space Squadron (and one of Space Worlds), headline talents including George Tuska, Werner Roth and Allen Bellman (with back-up features by Joe Maneely, Christopher Rule, George Klein and Vern Henkel) showed Captain Jet Dixon and his Space Squadron blasting into action, facing cosmic threats like “The Armada of Death,” “The Space Demons,” “Terror from the Deep,” “The Temptress of Jupiter,” and “The Midnight Horror.”

Come 1953, Hank Chapman and Joe Maneely gazed further into the future, envisioning the distant year 2075 and the adventures of Speed Carter, Spaceman. Scripted throughout by Chapman, Maneely launched and drew the first three issues before handing off one issue each to Mike Sekowsky, George Tuska and Bob Forgione, with back-up features by John Romita, Maneely, and Bill Savage. As other aspects of the Atlas line leaned into the peak of pre-Code horror, the Captain of the Space Sentinels and young cadet Johnny Day battled monstrous aliens with stories including “The Space Trap,” “A Slaughter in Space,” “Die, Spaceman, Die,” and “The Thing in Outer Space.”

Unseen in 70 years, scanned in high resolution, restored to perfection and packaged as one extra-sized, beautiful hardcover volume, In the Days of the Rockets! will open a wormhole to the early cold-war four-color era of futuristic science fantasy.

Full-color illustrations throughout