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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comic Book Moments – Day 188

Here is the latest cool comic book moment in our year-long look at one cool comic book moment a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the moments posted so far!

Today, we take a look at a classic EC comic story that was featured in last week’s Comic Book Legends Revealed!


Due to popular demand, here’s the story again, by Al Feldstein and artist Joe Orlando, from Weird Fantasy #18 in 1953…

The story, “Judgment Day,” was about an astronaut sent by the Earth to examine a planet to see if it was up to snuff and worthy of joining Earth’s “Galactic Republic.”

Well, the planet of robots was found wanting, due to its treatment of different colored robots.

Then, of course, the big “twist”…

The twist, of course, has to be “the” moment here, but the whole story is very well done.


A true classic in every sense of the world! EC Comics broke new ground in various genres and were always ahead of their time. Censuring ideals only results in inciting greater resistance. Witness the creation of the CCA and how it led to the underground movement of the 60’s. Kudos to Gaines and his crew for standing up to all the bigoted crap that kept being shoved in their faces.

For some reason, this reminds me of that great “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” episode where Sisko dreams he’s a science-fiction writer in the 50s, using his stories to speak out against racism.

Furious George

July 8, 2009 at 6:35 am

I saw “Comic Book Confidential” for the first time last month and Gaines picks this one comic as how backasswards the Comics Code was in the 1950s. The story would not have worked if the astronaut was white; it would have come across as simply lecturing the reader on racism. But having the astronaut turn out to be black not only provides a nice little twist ending it also shows how far a society can go when race is no longer an issue. Twenty years after this story is published, NASA sends Guion “Guy” Bluford into space as the first African-American in space. Gaines was simply ahead of the times.

Furious George

July 8, 2009 at 6:40 am

D’oh! I meant thirty years, not twenty!

I watched that whole DS9 episode without realizing what it was.

I was flipping around TV late at night and I stopped and watched a little bit and thought “Huh, this looks like some neat forgotten movie about the troubles of a black sci-fi writer in the ’50s. I’ll watch it.” I was shocked at the end when it turned out it was a Deep Space 9 episode. I never got into the show but that was a fine hour of TV.

that story should be considered a classic mostly due to its being about not judging someone over skin color that plus the fact that the publishers wanted the afriacan american astronaut changed to white. a worthy moment for the list and true clssic

Chad, it was the publishers at EC that stood up to keep the astronaut black. It was Judge Charles Murphy who tried to use the CCA to change the astronaut’s race. Gaines threatened to sue him and when Murphy said the astronaut could be black if they got rid of the perspiration Gaines told him “Fuck you” and hung up on him. That’s right about the time that MAD switched over to magazine format and EC stopped publishing comics. It’s a terrible shame; American comics would be a much more vibrant and varied medium today if EC hadn’t been forced under by the CCA.

Yay it made it on here!

[…] Here’s a great one from Weird Fantasy. […]

Glad to see this included too =)

Does it make me a terrible person that I wanted the twist ending to involve a reveal that Earth had sidestepped the problem of diversity by eliminating all but one race, then claiming to be civilized? That probably makes me a terrible person, doesn’t it?

[…] all of EC Comics’ “Judgment Day” story! Better Life Factor: This is an outstanding story, and it’s nice that EC was able to […]

wow…great story…at first i saw it was an old comic and was eeehhh…but then i started to read and was glad i did…

It’s amazing that something like this was allowed to publish when it was. Very hokey by today’s standards, but the overall message is good. And it’s refreshing to see humans as a strong, dominant force in space, normally, we’re the ones who need the aliens (yeah, I know, we are the creators in this strip, but you get the idea…).

[…] go read “Judgment Day,” one of the most talked about stories that was killed by the […]

[…] do with savvy and finesse, to take The Left Hand of Darkness (1969) and gender issues or “Judgment Day” (Weird Fantasy 18, March-April 1952) and racial segregation. In this capacity they weave […]

Still very poignant today.

[…] extends not only to comics in which the perspective is verbally explicit, but also to works like “Judgment Day” and “Master Race” where a second-person mode dominates the visual orientation of the sequential […]

EC was amazing!

Orlando’s artwork was beautiful, the quality of the written words was ahead of its time.

A little corny today, maybe. But in it’s time…?

The moment: the last panel!

[…] “If you’re not having fun at the party you’re at, go find another party.” Potrzebie! One Of The Most Unsung Of Cultural Influencers, Al Feldstein, 88, Ran MAD Magazine For 28 Years Of Its Heyday With – “Judgment Day,” A Comic Feldman Penned In 1953 […]

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