Space Family Robinson Volume Five

Dark Horse Comics

$49.99, color, 219 pgs.

Writer: Gaylord DuBois

Artist: Dan Spiegle

Collecting Space Family Robinson #32-39 (Feb 69-Apr 74), March of Comics #328 (Jan 69)

 

While Western Publishing’s Space Family Robinson and TV’s Lost in Space had the same premise, the former far outlasted the latter – and this collection is a good indication as to why.

 

Initially, Space Family Robinson was pretty dreadful. DuBois would try to sound high-tech by putting words like “space” in front of everything – “My space-watch says it’s astro-time for space-dinner!” and so forth. Plus, DuBois’ grasp of science was dubious at best.

 

But by the early 1970s, DuBois had really grown into the book. His aliens were becoming plausible (and interesting), his understanding of astronomy and physics had firmed up, the Robinsons were amassing interesting alien technology that continued issue to issue, and the casual sexism and stilted dialogue of the early days were sloughing off. (While teenage Tim still saved the day most often, twin sister Tam, Dad and even Mom began to pull their weight.) Plus: Dan Spiegle art. What more could you ask?

 

Evidently the fans of 1974 could ask for more, since this volume wraps up the series. That’s a shame, because this volume shows that DuBois and Spiegle were really hitting their stride. Space Family Robinson will never be called great comics, but these final issues were pretty solid.

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I read the first volume, then fell behind on the others. No that the series has been collected in its entirety, I really must make a concentrated effort to polish it off one day soon. Good to know the quality improves (not that i disliked it in the first place); it'll give me something to lok forward to.

I really love the Space Family comic book series to death and even managed to obtain all original issues, including the March of Comics.

There exists a German reprint series that faithfully reprints all issues released in Germany during the series' heyday. Some mediocre new covers are included.

Do you know there were four other Space Family Robinson series around in the UK and Germany and only one is related to the Gold Key series?

The science fiction adaptation of Swiss Family Robinson must have been very popular.

I have a few issues and I thought they were ok.

Captain Comics said:

Evidently the fans of 1974 could ask for more, since this volume wraps up the series. That’s a shame, because this volume shows that DuBois and Spiegle were really hitting their stride. Space Family Robinson will never be called great comics, but these final issues were pretty solid.

Maybe they were hitting their stride, but how long did it take for them to get there?

I am certainly not objective as it is my favourite comic (out of the 100 or so I collect) but I noticed the weak beginning and it getting ever stronger. I think it was around issue 12 or there abouts that I was hooked forever... That was the issue with islands in the sky (I can look it up). And the series reached number 59...(plus some extras). .And I proved my dedication to get it complete which was very difficult if you lived in Continental Europe before the Internet. The issue I like best is that with the shape shifters...J.

That IS impressive dedication, Johan! I live here in the States, and can't claim a whole run of Space Family Robinson!

Just for the record: the "islands in the sky" issue was number 13, called "The Pit of Doom" and the "shapeshifters" issue was number 16, "Prisoners of Space" of April, 1966. And thank you for your praise.

What are some of the other titles you collect? Are they similar in tone or content to Space Family Robinson?

Basically I collect a) the  Space Families, b) old fashioned adventure comics: Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers,Jungle Jim and the other Gold Key stuff: Magnus Robotfighter, Mighty Samson c) nearly everything to do with the Peter Pan CARTOONS: Disney, the Fox and the Japanese version d) Alice in Wonderland but mainly Disney, e) classical Disney: I have a near complete run of American Disney comics 1962-2007 and f) the Jetsons and some other Hannah Barbara titles. I probably forgot some but clearly I got hooked on Gold Key in a tremendous way. Regretfully I do not like super heroes but that is an European peculiarity..,

Do you look for German reprints of U.S. comics, or do you go for the originals? (I imagine that would be more difficult, but I really don't know.) Do you try to find different versions of what you like in different languages?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but I'm curious!

Yep, I go for the originals, whenever that is possible. In my case that means the American and British originals. Thanks to my US relatives - thank you Uncle Jan and Aunt Fie wherever you are - I was able to get the Gold key comics from early infancy on..And it sometimes was extremely difficult to nearly impossible to obtain the originals.. Of course I have some reprinted in German, French or even Dutch; those are much easier to acquire. And the UK "Space Family ROLLINSON" was featured in roughly 250 issues of "Knockout" weekly but in about a few dozen French reprints; so I chose the French edition in this particular case..

"Rollinson"? Ha! That's pretty funny ... and makes you wonder about the name change.

Well, Johan, if I can help you with any U.S. purchases, just let me know. I'm sure I can find you what you need. But the deutsche marks are yours, mein freund!

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