Friday, September 5, 2014


Gold Key Comics Captain Johner and the Aliens #1 was written (Magnus, Robot Fighter #1, #4, #6 through #8) and drawn (all stories) by the masterful Russ (Magnus, Tarzan) Manning! Robert (77 Sunset Strip, Sea Hunt) Schaefer; Eric (77 Sunset Strip, Sea Hunt) Freiwald handled the writing chores on Magnus #3, #9 & #10.


Originally starting as a back up feature in Magnus, Robot Fighter #1 & a one-shot issue, I'll never get why there was just one issue.  

"Fear of the Unknown Spreads Panic when the Aliens Make Their First Earth-Landing!"

The series of short stories chronicle space traveler Captain Johner & his crew discovering a new planet, where the strange inhabitants welcomed the Earthmen. Half of the crew traveled with the new alien friends back to Earth, while the other half stay behind to learn the alien customs. 

Some of the aliens decide that Captain Johner and his crew are a threat and attempt to disintegrate the contingent left on the planet. Meanwhile, the aliens on board Johner’s ship actually save him while entering Earth’s atmosphere. 

It appears Russ Manning took the premise of The Aliens from a short story, "First Contact," by Murray (William Jenkins) Leinster, originally published in Astounding Science Fiction (May, 1945.) 

As this striking end page shown below demonstrates, Captain Johner's has first contact with an alien race, developing a trade agreement with planet Earth.

Gold Key reprinted The Aliens #1 in a Whitman imprint, The Aliens #2. 

The Gold Key comic reprinted Magnus, Robot Fighter #1, #3, #4, #6 through #10. There were one page features on meteors & meteorites and asteroids with a back cover pin-up (of the front cover.)  

The Whitman edition contained reprints from Magnus #1, #3, #4, #6 through #10. The original cover was recolored from the Gold Key comic. Even the Whitman logo came in yellow & white. Unfortunately, there were no features included or traditional Gold Key pin-up.

Valiant brought it back also, Captain Johner and the Aliens #1 & #2, reprinting stories presented in Magnus, Robot Fighter #1 through #14. The two issues also sported amazing new covers from great comic book artist Paul (X-Men, Leave it to Chance) Smith. 

Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!


  1. Could you tell me if the artwork for 'Captain Johner' is in the public domain? Any help would be appreciated.

  2. Sorry, but I haven't come across the comics in the public domain. Dell & Charlton have some of their Silver Age comics available, but I have yet to come across any Gold Key Comics. Just the panels and original art I've come across. I've got the hard copy of the Gold Key and Whitman Aliens comic along with the Valiant Comics. As far as Magnus, I have hit and miss I've reacquired. Man, if only I'd kept my comics when I left home! But it is fun to reminisce. has good old fashioned scans of Golden Age and some Silver Age comics available. I've been happy with the selection they have.

  3. Okay - thanks for the information. I remember Gold Key comics with great affection as well.