Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Love Atlas Comics #7: "From Out of the Past!"

From my tattered copy of Astonishing#49 (1956), a tale of dinosaur bones, museums and comeuppance: three great tastes that go great together.

We look in on a trio of university paleontologists who are waxing about their superiority over men of the past. They regard some of man's past accomplishments such as his "stirring adventures" (and envision a caveman fighting a sabertooth tiger), "pomp and pagentry" (two knights jousting) "and even great romances" (Cyrano de Bergerac). "But they lacked knowledge! Our specialty, paleontology...the collection and classification of fossils, lay far beyond their wildest dreams!" Indeed, "...if any fool needs convincing...let him walk through the museum halls where our superb handiwork is spread out for him to behold!"

Why, the egotistical braggarts! I always knew palaeontologists had less character than a Wall Street banker! But the story continues: a fellow from a dig produces a new fossil fragment, which one of the palaeos dismisses as "a piece of our old brontosaurus friend!" with such cool detachment you'd think he was the one who murdered the old beast. And so the dig continues to see if more fossils can be found in that spot. I do hope the piece they found was the intercostal clavicle.

At any rate, the men dig while the palaeontologists relax. click to enlarge

Why those smug little...! Now they're looking down on the working class! When the revolution comes, these three will be the first against the wall! I'm sorry, the only way they could possibly receive any comeuppance is if this dig somehow unearths something so mind-blowing that it puts their own world to shame!

Sure enough, the working men do find something and call the palaeos down. They found more bones, yes, but more than that, they found... click to enlarge

Well I'll be O. Henry! What a humbling, albeit lucrative, discovery. So what have we learned today children, if nothing else? That's right, neanderthals make the best palaeontologists.

In all seriousness, I do agree with the core philosophy of this quick little tale, similar to that of History Bites' Rick Green - that times may change but people do not and that one day future generations will have cause to ridicule us. ...For inventing the Brontosaurus, for one thing.

1 comment:

Traumador said...


those foolish palaeontologists! when will they learn?!?

have to say the decor of those cavemens museum was SO 5 million BC :P