Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Tomorrow belongs to the snowman!
It's one of the most iconic covers from the history of DC's long-running sci-fi anthology title Strange Adventures, and certainly one of the three or four most iconic that doesn't have a gorilla on it somewhere - robbing a library, flying with eagle wings, all the kindsa stuff gorillas do when you let them have a sci-fi budget. It's snowmen invading a peaceful earth and destroying everything we love with their laser-emitting coal-lump eyes. If they ever truly understood the power of that magical old top hat, we'd be doomed.

Invaders From The Ice World (Strange Adventures vol.1 No.79, April 1957) is almost certainly the most unintentionally prescient cautionary tale in the entire history of assorted Silver Age science fiction titles, dealing as it does with dramatic and catastrophic changes to Earth's environment definitely caused by mankind and resulting in extinction-level climate change. Oh, the wacky fun of the Silver Age.

Ugh, interplanetary snowbirds.
In the middle of Summer, two energy beings from the planet Pluto land on Earth with the intent of conquering it. The downside is that Earth is too-oo-oo hot for the Plutonians to conquer, which means maybe they should have landed in the other hemisphere. Who amI to judge Plutonian planet-nabbers though. Have I walked a klezbot (a Plutonian mile) in their shamblogs (Birkies)? I have not.

Using their advanced Plutonian science, the energy-beings drop the regional temperature sufficiently so as to create a sort of cold-based hyperbaric chamber with which to acclimate themselves to Earth's relative heat. Pesky kids take advantage of the Summertime blizzard to craft snowmen which the two invading aliens determine are perfect "snow-suits" capable of maintaining the low temperatures they crave - and which moms love!

The next stage of their plan involves walking around slowly and murdering plant life with the raybeams from their eyes. The ultimate goal, as they explain to a passel of militarymen and concerned scientists, is to eliminate all sources of oxygen-production on Earth, thereby promoting the production of carbon dioxide and making the world not only uninhabitable to native life, but blanketed in a heat-reflecting shield of CO2 with which they'll freeze the planet.

"WHY we built it, I dunno, but now we got it so let's use it."
On the plus side, there's only two of them, they're on foot, and they landed in fucking Ohio or something, home of zero rainforests and never once called "the lungs of the planet." On the downside, by contrast, we're actually killing more plantlife as a species much faster and more efficiently than they ever could. We'll call that a draw.

Arguably, the threat of two planet-purloining Plutonians should be an easy fix with an open barbecue, a hairdryer or waiting for them to get to Texas. It turns out, against common sense, that the super-cold snowmen shells can withstand bullets, flamethrowers, grenades, bazookas and atomic blasts. Hope they cleared those kids out before they tested it.

Ultimately, the humans decide to fight fire with fire, as it were, and use an experimental cold beam to turn the snowmen bodies as brittle as glass. This causes the Plutonians to leave in defeat or, conversely, perhaps they read a scientific journal and realized they really just needed to wait a century or so until Earth is rendered devoid of life anyway. Or maybe they went to Neptune, that's what I would have done - the commute alone is so much easier.

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