Thursday, June 08, 2017

365 Days of Defiance, Day 159: This machine is capable of almost anything, but I'll still put my trust in a healthy set of tonsils

The stars: the last horizon. These are the adventures of the Space Voyagers. Their assignment: to scout astonishing undiscovered planets, to search for fresh beings and different cultures, to fearlessly travel someplace nobody's travelled to previously!


Panels from the Space Voyagers story "The Delta Brain" in Rima the Jungle Girl #2 (DC, June-July 1974), script by Robert Kanigher, pencils and inks by Alex Niño

The crew of the USS [Unnamed Starship] has discovered a strange new world unusual uncharted planet completely inhabited by machine life! I'm guessing that means at some point the crew will have to teach the machines how to kiss, or to outwit them with logic problems from old back issues of Games magazine.


Turns out this used to be a world of humans (I imagine they took it away from old masters the apes) but they built a series of computers so powerful that long after the people had died of a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone, the machines still thrive! Still, you've gotta imagine that puts a bit of a shadow over the annual celebration of "Humans Are the Best" Day.


The Space Voyagers are held captive! They're sentenced to a life of repairing the machines. Machine above man...it's a madhouse! A MADHOUSE!


And not the good sort of Madhouse either.


Cover of Archie's Madhouse #3 (January 1960), pencils by Harry Lucey, inks by Terry Szenics

But...in a twist worthy of O. Henry, or maybe his brother P.: the machines are revolting! Also: they are not going to go along with this.


They learned almost too late that machine is a feeling creature...and because of it, the greatest in the universe. They learned too late for themselves that machines have to find their own way, to make their own mistakes. There can't be any gift of perfection from outside ourselves. And when machines seek such perfection...they find only death... fire... loss... disillusionment...the end of everything that's gone forward. Machines have always sought an end to the toil and misery, but it can't be given, it has to be achieved. There is hope, but it has to come from inside, from Machine itself.


6 comments:

RayRay said...

Nice It Conquered the World needle drop. Cheers!

Dave White said...

Man, that's some great Alex Nino art wasted on a dumb story.

Blam said...

I have "Delta Brain" sometimes, but that's just what I call it when "Delta Dawn" gets stuck in my head.

Bully said...

What's that flower you've got on?

Blam said...

Not sure, actually. It could be a painted rose from days gone by. Some fella with really pale skin and green hair was handing them out downtown.

Blam said...

"Where should we put this Space Voyagers strip Kanigher and NiƱo are doing?"
"Hmm... Rima the Jungle Girl is based on a 1904 romance novel set in the South American rainforest."
"Perfect!"