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I Dared to Look Into The Beyond (Monsterbus p.288)

This is a clear example of the art contradicting the final text. The splash page suggests horror, and the final page shows a primitive world. Kirby would certainly know of H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" , and there are plenty of Kirby stories that show a concern with nuclear destruction. So it all points to a future where mankind has wiped itself out, or died off in some other way. But then the final text tries to be upbeat, as if the entire human race had left the planet just five years later. But why would everybody leave? And why is there no evidence of cities or other human influence? And why scratch the message on a rock, if mankind was so advanced, why not at least create a shiny plinth?

Almost certainly this is an apocalyptic story. But it appears that Lee as editor wanted to make it upbeat for children (that was his role in Goodman's business, to make stories suitable for young children). so he removed the story's teeth.

The original story, then, was of Kirby the prophet making the same warning he made in "The Last Enemy" and in "Kamandi": if mankind does not improve we will have no future. It's a superb short story, made all the more enjoyable by Ditko's clean inks, so suitable for the future world.


I think the choice of words in bold seems more Kirby like (emphasis is on the words that matters, not necessarily the word we would stress if spoken put loud): did Kirby perhaps specify every word, including which to embolden? Also, note the panel where the plane leaves (p.3/290, panel 2). The layout is very similar to Kirby's favourite "future city" layout, as seen in the first appearance of Kang, and also (if memory serves) in a Galactus story (in Thor?), and elsewhere. If I had more time I'd hunt these examples down and present them side by side, but it's getting late, so I'll just throw the idea in for future reference.