Celebrating the Unpopular Arts
It’s 1967 and the space race is ON!

It’s 1967 and the space race is ON!

Comics got in on the space race before the space race was a thing. DC was sending chimps into space before Sputnik, as on this Murphy Anderson cover.

Likewise Titano’s origin involved a rocket test, a radioactive meteor and a kryptonite meteor, creating the kaijin on Curt Swan’s cover.The Fantastic Four’s 1961 space flight was specifically an attempt to beat “the Reds” into space. Though Kirby’s cover understandably focused on a different moment in the story.Dreams of the moon landing had heated up by 1967. That’s when we got the movie Countdown, in which an imminent Soviet moon launch forces the US to speed things up so James Caan can be first man on the moon.Comics caught the fever too, at least in their advertising. In the summer of ’67 Aurora began offering the “American Astronaut” model (I didn’t buy one any more than I was into their other models). I’m sure plenty of kids did though.Mattel went the action figure route with the introduction of Mattel’s Man in Space, Major Matt Mason! The major showed up in ’66 but I’m only “now” seeing the ads in my Silver Age reread.Mason came with accessories of course, and it was cooler tech than the real astronauts got.And that was even before Mason joined forces with the cool alien Captain Lazer.



  1. Alaric

    I remember Major Matt Mason, from when I was very, very young. Even though I knew at the time they (officially) had nothing to do with each other, I’ll always associate him with the Outer Space Men line of alien toys, as we used to play with them together. I also remember finding and reading a Major Matt Mason book a few years later at my school- it took place on the Moon, where it turned out there were giant earthworms digging tunnels underground and causing moonquakes. I think the main story involved some sort of plot to sabotage the moon base or something? At that age, I was much more interested in the worms.

    1. Le Messor

      “there were giant earthworms digging tunnels underground and causing moonquakes

      So what were the humans doing on the moon? Mining for some kind of spice or something?

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