Classic Comic Cover Corner (#ApeInSpace Edition): Strange Adventures #64

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When current events collide with comic book history we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling pop culture commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Strange Adventures #64 – January, 1956

Cover art by Gil Kane

Strange Adventures #64 – January, 1956
Strange Adventures #64 – January, 1956

Running the International Space Station…$350,000 an hour; a men’s adult Gorilla Costume…$55.00; a gorilla chasing astronauts around the space station…priceless!

Last Tuesday, while wrapping up nearly a year in orbit onboard the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly showed the world what separates us from the apes, by donning a gorilla suit and chasing British astronaut Tim Peake around the satellite laboratory.

Kelly’s prank was quite possibly the greatest thing I’ve ever seen in my life and reminded me of one of my all-time favorite comic book covers, Strange Adventures #64, from January, 1956, which has a pair of Gorillas observing the Earth as mankind prepares to launch their first artificial satellite into space.

In the “Gorillas in Space” short-story (written by Bill Finger, whom you might remember as the co-creator of Batman) gorillas land on Earth to alert scientists of the dangers to be found in outer space.

The weird visitors explain that they were once Earthmen themselves, but that exposure to cosmic rays caused them to devolve back to Gorillas while still maintaining their intellect. But in a twist that I’m sure Scott Kelly can appreciate, it turns out that the apes are actually aliens in gorilla suits.

Is Scott Kelly a fan of Strange Adventures? I think there’s a good chance of that. And I also think that, when he arrives back on Earth next week, NASA needs to make sure he’s not an alien wearing an elaborate Earthman suit.

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