One of the more interesting facets of ’50s horror and sci-fi comics is how effectively they captured the underlying paranoia of the times. From thinly-veiled allegories of the Red Menace to more subtle examinations of the horrors hiding within seemingly placid suburbs, Pre-Code comics often conveyed potent messages using the most lurid methods possible.
Case in point: Today’s Red Scare tale courtesy of classic Commie-Baiting publisher, Atlas Comics. The uncredited writer – Stan Lee, perhaps? – does an excellent job of evoking the paranoia of McCarthyism through the guise of man-eating, shape-shifting aliens.
(Now that I think of it, those Atlas and Marvel comics of the 1950s and early ’60s did have a lot of Communist super-villains. It’s probably because the Timely-Atlas-Marvel imprint never saw a popular trend it couldn’t exploit.)
The 13 Days Of Halloween continue with “The Man Eater!” from Astonishing #8 (Atlas, January 1952). The art, drawn in the style of Atlas stalwart Joe Maneely, is credited to Norman Steinberg.
Another happy ending!
Coming tomorrow: Basil Wolverton reveals humanity’s deepest nightmares!!!