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DC Database

"Secret of the Man-Ape": Aliens on a planet 100,000 light years away view Earth through a telescope and see that the planet is dominated by a gorilla civilization. They realize that what they are seeing is 100,000 years old, but they assume (incorrectly) that gorillas must still rule the world.

Strange Adventures #75 is an issue of the series Strange Adventures (Volume 1) with a cover date of December, 1956.

Synopsis for "Secret of the Man-Ape"

Aliens on a planet 100,000 light years away view Earth through a telescope and see that the planet is dominated by a gorilla civilization. They realize that what they are seeing is 100,000 years old, but they assume (incorrectly) that gorillas must still rule the world. In order to find out if they can conquer Earth, they transform one of their people into the form of a gorilla and rocket him through hyperspace to present-day Earth to act as a spy.

The alien gorilla lands in Africa where he makes two discoveries. First, he finds out that gorillas are no longer intelligent and the new dominant civilization is human. Luckily, though, he also overhears hunters say that they have been contracted to capture and deliver a gorilla to a scientist who plans to test his invention: a gorilla-to-human converter. So the alien gorilla allows himself to be captured so he can be converted to human form, which will allow him to perform his spy mission.

At the scientist's lab, he sees the scientist hide the plans for his device in three library books and then die in an accident. The books get returned to the library, so the gorilla goes to the library and checks them out. He flees with the books in a stolen car, but since he is unfamiliar with Terran cars, he gets into a terrible accident which kills him and destroys the gorilla-to-human converter.

Appearing in "Secret of the Man-Ape"

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Synopsis for "The Second Deluge of Earth"

Amphibious men from Mars land on Earth with a device to initiate a planet-wide deluge that will drown the Earth and make it habitable for themselves. They set up a base of operations at the alpine home of Professor Durand, a blind, retired nuclear physicist. Durand realizes that the Martians are, like him, blind, so he quietly sneaks out of the house while they are playing dominoes, and he finds and wrecks their instrument of destruction. The aliens tell him that they will bide their time underwater until they can again try to conquer the Earth. They dive into a nearby lake, but Durand happily notes that it is a fresh water lake in which they will not survive since they require a salt water environment.

Appearing in "The Second Deluge of Earth"

  • Appearances not yet listed

Synopsis for "Mystery of the Box From Space"

A dying alien gives this tale's narrator a box for safekeeping until his friend named Zozz comes to Earth to pick it up. He instructs the man not to open the box, which contains a rare substance that is vital to the survival of his home world. But soon the narrator succumbs to his curiosity and opens the box, only to find it empty.

When Zozz arrives, he reveals that the box was not empty; it contained a rare gas that would have been an antidote for his planet's increasingly poisonous atmosphere. He also tells the narrator that although the gas is not harmful to Terran life, it will bleach whatever ingests it. The man remembers that a plant in his home turned white after he opened the box, so he and Zozz figure that they can extract the gas from that plant. Unfortunately, just then a butterfly drinks the nectar from the plant, and it turns white. A chase ensues as a frog eats the butterfly and is in turn eaten by a migrating bird. Finally, they capture the bird, and Zozz takes it to his planet where, he says, the life-saving gas will be extracted.

Appearing in "Mystery of the Box From Space"

  • Appearances not yet listed

Synopsis for "This is Timearama!"

Historian John Larrow has invented a "Time-TV" that can display any event from fifty years ago or more. He hopes that the full professorship he receives as a result will impress his girlfriend's snooty mother, Mrs. Van Mansel, enough so that she will allow him to wed her daughter. Unfortunately, when Larrow tunes his Time-TV to view a couple of his ancestors at Mrs. Van Mansel's request, the haughty matron discovers his humble roots and refuses to let her daughter marry him.

In hopes of becoming rich in order to impress Mrs. Van Mansel, Larrow makes a deal with a man named Banning Blord, who turns out to be a swindler who renames the invention "Timearama" and turns it into a crass theatrical gimmick. In order to get out of the crooked contract, Larrow improves his invention to allow it to view current events too and is thus able to expose Blord's shady dealings. Emboldened by this victory, Larrow uses the Time-TV to research the Van Mansel family history. He discovers some unsavory ancestors, and a surprised and humiliated Mrs. Van Mansel agrees to let him marry her daughter if he promises to keep quiet about his discoveries about her family.

Appearing in "This is Timearama!"

  • Appearances not yet listed


In the story, "Secret of the Man-Ape," the alien gorilla does not pull a gun on the librarian as is depicted on the cover. No explanation is given as to why the librarian would let a gorilla check books out of the library.

The stories in this issue are reprinted in Showcase Presents: Strange Adventures Vol. 2

See Also

Links and References

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