Tuesday, September 30, 2014


"I wish I was a Spaceman, the fastest guy alive"

Gerry & Sylvia Anderson created Fireball XL5, went on to create Space: 1999 & UFO!

Steve Zodiac, the commander of the Fireball XL5, a fantastic space craft, defending the earth against all sorts of unlikely enemies and dangers.

Not seen the model, this appears to be instructions though!
This one shot issue of Gold Key's Steve Zodiac and Fireball XL5 was meant to be the first of an ongoing series, like the previous Anderson show Gold Key adapted, Supercar. However, for reasons unknown, no other issues were ever published 

Cover from the novel The Thousand Headed Man used for the comic book as well!

The model for Steve Zodiac on the painted cover by George Wilson is Steve Holland, best known as the model for James Bama's Doc Savage paperback covers which define the "look" of the Man of Bronze for the last few generations of fans!

Colonel Steve Zodiac: Okay, Venus?
Venus: Okay, Steve. 

Colonel Steve Zodiac: Right, Let's Go!

A lifeless planet becomes the nerve center of an invasion force headed for Earth!

Steve Zodiac and the Fireball XL5 #1:
Both stories written by Paul S. Newman with artwork by Mel (Prof. Harbinger stories in Doctor Solar) Crawford and painted cover by George Wilson.

At the nerve center of Space City, Commander Zero uses the massive neutroni transmitter to send an urgent signal across millions of miles of space! This top priority message will change the course of a speeding space ship and will bring STEVE ZODIAC and the crew of FIREBALL XL5 face to face with THE MOON MASTERS.

 "The Moon Masters"

The Moon is getting closer to Earth! Tidal waves threaten coasts, flooding rises, scientists have determined the Moon is being pushed by trans-space beam - originating on Planet 42.

Fireball XL5 is ordered to investigate but the surface is just volcanoes and dead craters - how can there be any life there? But then the ship is caught in the field of the beam pushing the Moon, and has to use boosters to break free. Motion detectors pinpoint a lake-filled crater, and Steve and Venus investigate on jetmobiles. 

A field alarm alerts a squad of alien creatures who rise from the parting waters and fire at them. Playing dead, they are taken into the crater into the alien base to be examined by their leader Xerl. The aliens plan to invade Earth for its life-giving nitrogen but overhearing their plans, Steve makes a break for the Moon ray room, only to find the device shielded. Both he and Venus, who tries to help, are paralyzed by Xerl's weapon. But Venus also had her radio on, and Steve is able to call Professor Matic and outline a plan. 

The Professor allows himself to be captured, and Robert is able to throw a transtanium flare through the parting waters into the base, which burns up the nitrogen. As the aliens pass out, Matic revives Steve and Venus and they sabotage the device. As helmeted guards investigate, Steve knocks them out and they escape just as the device explodes, destroying the aliens. With the beam destroyed, scientists calculate the Sun's gravity will return the Moon to its normal orbit in a few days.

"Trail of the Traitor"

Night, and Space City sleeps in quiet, confident security, unaware of a stealthy figure slipping into command headquarters of the World Space Patrol...

Gotta love the Gold Key Pin-Ups!

Alarms sound, and Commander Zero races from his quarters to find both guards stunned, and the vault has been blown - the tape of the Master Interplanetary Defense Plan has been stolen! As this could leave Earth open to attack from another galaxy, Zero orders all craft leaving to be checked. The only recent departure is Fireball XL4, but a check of the vocal prints reveals the pilot is not Lieutenant Norris as it claims to be. 

As the nearest patrol ship, Fireball XL5 is sent to intercept, but Venus points out the ships are equally matched and it will be the skill of the astronaut who makes the difference. Venus picks up signals from the XL4 in code, revealing the spy to be Henders, who wants command of any captured planets in return for the tape. But when Fireball XL5 closes for intercept, XL4 is quicker and counters the missiles.

XL5 shudders under fire, and an alien ship appears from hiding in the rings of Saturn. Its stabilizers damaged, Professor Matic takes the main body of XL5 to one of the moons of Saturn for repairs while Steve and Venus continue their pursuit in Fireball Junior. 

XL4 has linked up with the alien ship but is then cut adrift and without control. Boarding it, they find the traitor shot, and before dying he reveals the aliens as coming from Planet 23 in the Betal Galaxy. Instinct tells Steve the aliens figured they would dock, and gets Fireball Junior away from Fireball XL4 as it explodes from a time bomb. 

With the main body of Fireball XL5 now repaired, they rejoin Professor Matic and pursue the alien ship only to find the vessel is protected against missiles. Matic has a heat ray, and aims it at the alien ship, but the aliens are also used to high temperatures, and have called in space fighters to deal with Fireball XL5. Then they all peel off and return to their planet - Matic's target was not the aliens but the tape, which has melted to a blob as temperatures reached five hundred degrees. 

Just came across this bio not long ago, have been dying to share it. 

A Biography of Steve Zodiac:

Colonel Steve Zodiac (born on October 29, 2030 in Kahra on Mars) is the pilot and commanding officer of Fireball XL5.

Gerry Anderson did the voice of Robby the Robot & Sylvia did the voice of Venus!

Steve was born in the domed city of Kahra on Mars, and is the son of General Zodiac, the Head of the Universal Secret Service, better known in official circles by his code name 'S'. The Zodiac Family had moved to Mars early in 2030 when the USS set up their headquarters just outside Kahra, soon after the colony was founded. 

Young Zodiac never liked going to bed as a boy – he would lie awake and gaze up at the stars wondering what was out there. This fascination never left him and he joined the newly opened World Space Patrol Academy on Earth in 2047 as a space cadet. Zodiac qualified with honors as an astronaut in 2051 and was commissioned into the WSP as a sub-lieutenant based at Space City. He built up a strong friendship with the space explorer/pioneer Major Jim Ireland in the year before Ireland left Earth to begin a ten-year voyage of discovery through the local star systems. 

Zodiac was promoted to lieutenant at 22 and before long was flying shuttles to and from the space colonies within the Solar System. In 2055 he was assigned to the newly commissioned patrol ship Fireball XL5 as co-pilot with the rank of space captain. The XL ships were powered by man's greatest breakthrough in space technology – the hyperdrive. 

Zodiac visited many new worlds in these early days and then in 2057 the nutomic motor was perfected which boosted the power of the hyperdrive tenfold. The stress of testing the new motors proved too much for XL5's first pilot, Colonel Grange, who suffered a nervous breakdown at the controls and almost destroyed the ship. Zodiac kept calm and after knocking Grange unconscious recovered control of Fireball just in time and completed the tests successfully. He was subsequently promoted to colonel and given command of XL5 with responsibility for patrolling Sector 25 of our galaxy. 

Over the next 5 years Steve Zodiac and the crew of Fireball XL5 helped make space a safer place for Mankind and all its allies in the United Planets Organization. 

In 2063 he won the Astronaut of the Year Award and has become a legend in his own lifetime.

One of these days I'm to actually order this off Amazon!
The complete Fireball XL5 TV series is available in a multi DVD package.

Nice cover for the soundtrack!
Although produced only in England, there was a soundtrack and children's book.  

Wish I still had mine!

There was a lunchbox, designed by Wally (T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, MARS Patrol) Wood!

Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!

Monday, September 29, 2014


M. F. Enterprises' Captain Marvel was a short lived (and only superhero) title written by Roger (Psycho, Starstream) Elwood with artwork by Leon (Captain Marvel only) Francho & Carl (Golden Age Human Torch) Burgos.

Psycho #1 Roger Elwood short story!
Starstream #4 Roger Elwood short story!
Fantasy Masterpieces #9 Origin of Carl Burgos Human Torch!

In Captain Marvel #1, we are introduced to a super-android is created on another planet and named Captain Marvel. Atomic war breaks out, destroying the planet. 

The hero eventually lands on Earth and is befriended by a boy named Billy Baxton. 

As Roger Winkle, Captain Marvel gets a job as a writer for a press service and fights crime by splitting into six parts (head, torso, arms, and legs) upon crying “Split!”, and reuniting upon crying “Xam!” He can also shoot laser beams from his eyes, is super intelligent, deflect bullets and emit electrical shocks. 

In the second story, "The Invisible Aliens," Captain Marvel battles devious aliens from another dimension.

Capt Marvel vs Plastic Man!

Filling out the trilogy, "The Blue Men of Venus,"  has Captain Marvel meeting the blue-skinned Venusians, and battling the villainous Plastic-Man! Plastic-Man, a criminal Gronk from Venus, escapes and relocates to Earth!

Captain Marvel #2
Captain Marvel #3
Captain Marvel #4
This was the only issue, of six issues, I've come across. Two of the six issues were titled Captain Marvel Presents the Terrible Five.  
I thoroughly enjoyed the fun comic book, worth checking out.

Live Large My Friends!

Thank You!

Captain Marvel #5
Captain Marvel Presents The Terrible 5 #1
Weird #1 Carl Burgos Frankenstein story!