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UFO Flying Saucers #5 (Gold Key, 1975)

UFO Flying Saucers #5 (Gold Key, 1975). Click for larger image.

What an oddly cumbersome title for a comic book. Published by Gold Key (an imprint of Western Publishing) the company never reached the dizzying heights of Marvel or DC, but had a wide range of titles in their catalogue, often TV tie-ins with photo covers, such as Star Trek and The Man from Uncle. Not my cup of tea I must say, but If someone were to issue a book of the painted Gold Key comic covers, I'd buy it, because these are generally fantastic, and those for UFO Flying Saucers are no exception to the rule. It's just a shame (at least on the evidence of this issue) that the interior art never lived up to the promise of the covers, or for that matter the stories. UFO Flying Saucers purported to tell true live stories of UFO encounters, but also looked at hoaxes, these hosted by a character called "The Hoaxmaster", hence the inclusion here of the Orson Welles radio broadcast of The War of the Worlds.

Interior page of UFO Flying Saucer #5.

It's a pretty pedestrian re-telling of the story, illustrating a few instances of panic culled from the newspapers, nothing of the events in the studio, and most galling of all, green skinned humanoid Martians straight out of Flash Gordon! Would it really have hurt the artist to have provided illustrations in keeping with the established descriptions of the Martians? The biggest disappointment is that the cover does not feature The War of the Worlds; that would have really made this comic worth having.

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