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Saturday, March 04, 2006

EC - The 10th At Noon (Wood)

The 10th At Noon
art by Wallace Wood, story by Al Feldstein
Weird Fantasy #11 (1952)

An interesting entry among the many that dealt in the field of the nuclear paranoia of the 1950s, this story has an unnamed "Eastern Alliance" threatening a H-Bomb attack at noon on December 10th. While the reporters following the story argue among themselves whether the threat is real, or the promised retaliation by the US will stop it, two scientists completely oblivious to the goings on in the world at large have perfected a time travel device, through which they can send a camera to take snapshots of the future.

Showing a complete lack of imagination despite their genius, the scientists seem mostly excited that one of their early tests predicted a rainstorm in New York later that evening, thus fulfilling the dream of time travel researchers everywhere of accurate weather forecasts. They decide to continue their research along that track and see what the weather will be for an upcoming football game, which I guess is their only other passion besides weather forecasting, and get more than they bargained for when they get a photo of New York after the "Eastern Alliance" has struck.

It's nice that the whole nuclear annihilation could still be played for laughs back then. The really odd thing is Wood's kind of staid but well-rendered art of the scientists and reporters for most of the story, which contrast with the opening splash panel, which features a body melding in a nuclear inferno, and his last panel, which has much of New York turned into a crater (in some very nice duotone shading).

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