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The Aliens by Russ Manning

"The Aliens," was a short second feature by Russ Manning at the back of each issue of the original 28 issue run of Robot Fighter published by Gold Key. Selections of these stories were later reprinted by Gold Key and Whitman, and by Valiant.

It appears Manning adapted the premise of "The Aliens" from the short story "First Contact" by Murray Leinster (William Jenkins 1896-1976), originally published in Astounding Science Fiction May 1945. That story is available on audiotape and in this print anthology. Manning's spaceships likewise recall those of pulp science fiction.

For a brief discussion of The Aliens in general and of "A Case of Nerves" [Robot Fighter 6] in particular, see Post-Modernism in Comics.

As far as I can tell, Manning drew all "The Aliens" stories, though Dan Spiegle drew the Robot Fighter story in issue 23 and Paul Norris drew the Robot Fighter stories in issues 24 through 28.

Here is a listing of all the stories, and subsequent reprints.

Gold Key, Robot Fighter (Magnus, Robot Fighter, 4000 A.D. on cover)
Issue number (Cover date month and year)
/story number in issue "Story Title" (pages)
1 (Feb. 1963)
/2 untitled (4 pages)
2 (May 1963)
/2 "Space Derelict" (4 pages)
3 (Aug. 1963)
/2 "A Matter Of Judgment" (4 pages)
4 (Nov. 1963)
/2 "Suspense In Space" (4 pages)
5 (Feb. 1964)
/2 "Forced Landing" (4 pages)
6 (May 1964)
/2 "A Case of Nerves" (4 pages)
7 (Aug. 1964) [reprinted in 29]
/2 "The Dream Makers" (4 pages)
8 (Nov. 1964)
/2 "An Alien Welcome" (4 pages)
9 (Feb. 1965)
/2 "Talk Down" (4 pages)
10 (May 1965)
/2 "Fear of the Unknown" (4 pages)
11 (Aug. 1965)
/2 "False Men" (4 pages)
12 (Nov. 1965)
/2 "The Time Distorters" (4 pages)
13 (Feb. 1966)
/2 "The Day of the Nightmare" (4 pages)
14 (May 1966) [reprinted in 31]
/2 "The Conspiracy" (4 pages)
15 (Aug. 1966) [reprinted in 30]
/2 "Defensive Weapon" (4 pages)
16 (Nov. 1966)
/2 "Rescue" (4 pages)
17 (Feb. 1967)
/2 "Crystals of Life" (4 pages)
18 (May 1967)
/2 "The Crystal Crawler" (4 pages)
19 (Aug. 1967)
/2 "An Alien Phobia" (4 pages)
20 (Nov. 1967)
/2 "The Face of Time" (4 pages)
21 (Feb. 1968)
/2 "Into the Abyss" (4 pages)
22 (May 1968)
/2 "The Incredible Jewels" (4 pages)
23 (Aug. 1968)
/2 "The Danger From Beyond" (4 pages)
24 (Nov. 1968)
/2 "The Seeds of Destruction" (4 pages)
25 (Feb. 1969)
/2 "The Frigid Intruder" (4 pages)
26 (May 1969)
/2 "Cosmic Blight" (4 pages)
27 (Aug. 1969)
/3 "The Space Wizard" (4 pages)
28 (Nov. 1969)
/3 "The Ghost Planet" (4 pages)

The last panel of "The Ghost Planet" concludes,

Are there any survivors? Are all the people of earth buried beneath this dreadful ice cap?

--continued

Selections of these stories from Robot Fighter [RF] were collected in the following:
Gold Key, The Aliens [Capt. Johner and The Aliens on cover]
1 (Sept./Dec. 1967)
/1 untitled: RF 1/2
/2 "A Matter of Judgment": RF 3/2
/3 "Suspense in Space": RF 4/2
/4 "A Case of Nerves": RF 6/2
/5 "The Dream Makers": RF 7/2
/6 "An Alien Welcome": RF 8/2
/7 "Talk-Down": RF 9/2
/8 "Fear of the Unknown": RF 10/2
Whitman, The Aliens [Capt. Johner and The Aliens on cover]
2 (May 1982) [reprints issue 1]
/1 untitled: RF 1/2
/2 "A Matter of Judgment": RF 3/2
/3 "Suspense in Space": RF 4/2
/4 "A Case of Nerves": RF 6/2
/5 "The Dream Makers": RF 7/2
/6 "An Alien Welcome": RF 8/2
/7 "Talk-Down": RF 9/2
/8 "Fear of the Unknown": RF 10/2
Valiant, Capt. Johner and The Aliens
1 (May 1995) cover
/1 untitled: RF 1/2
/2 "Space Derelict": RF 2/2
/3 "A Matter of Judgment": RF 3/2
/4 "Suspense in Space": RF 4/2
/5 "Forced Landing": RF 5/2
/6 "A Case of Nerves": RF 6/2
/7 "The Dream Makers": RF 7/2
2 (May 1995) cover
/1 "An Alien Welcome": RF 8/2
/2 "Talk-Down": RF 9/2
/3 "Fear of the Unknown": RF 10/2
/4 "False Men": RF 11/2
/5 "The Time Distorter": RF 12/2
/6 "The Day of the Nightmare": RF 13/2
/7 "The Conspiracy": RF 14/2



Revised April 24, 2005.

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