Last March I did this post on the EC Comics line which linked to this article listing the recently published hardback black and white reprints of those comics by Fantagraphics. Now there’s another new collection spotlighting the work of artist Joe Orlando (1928-1998). (Click here to reserve our copy.)
Judgment Day and Other Stories collects 23 stories illustrated by Orlando (scripts by Al Feldstein and Jack Oleck) culled from EC’s Weird Science, Shock SuspenStories, Weird Science Fantasy, and Incredible Science Fiction magazines from 1953 to 1956. Included are such frightening entries as “My Home” ( a disembodied alien being falls in love with a female astronaut from Earth, with horrifying consequences), “The Automaton” (a man’s efforts to escape a totalitarian government in the future leads to the ultimate loss of his humanity), “Home Run” ( why does a top scientist insist that the Army’s first manned moon mission be rerouted to Mars, with him on board?), and “The Reformers” ( a group of aliens intent on “improving” the moral and social climate of other planets, whether they want it or not, get a BIG surprise on their new assignment!).
Not all the stories are downbeat. Adaptations of Otto Binder’s “Adam Link” stories, about an intelligent robot’s efforts to fit in with humans are also included here, as is an adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s poignant “The Long Years!”. And the titular tale, “Judgment Day!” a then controversial and powerful narrative about an astronaut from Earth, whose face we never see until the last page (for a good reason), discovering racial segregation being practiced on a world populated only by robots, still resonates even more strongly today.
Included in this collection are pieces on the stories themselves, a short biography of Orlando, who went on to work as an editor at DC Comics for 30 years, and a brief history of EC Comics. If you’re looking for solid storytelling delivered by one of the best artists in comics, Judgment Day is for you!
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