Science Fiction Comics
Once upon a time, comic book racks were filled with tales of intrepid space men and their intergalactic travels. Today's biggest comic titles are concerned with superheroes: crime fighting martial arts masters, mutants, even demons. There are still science fiction comics today, to be sure, and many of the mainstream comics use a number of sci-fi elements. Manga is especially rich with them. Even most earth-bound heroes seem to have wonderfully advanced technology, and aliens abound in the comic book universes; Superman himself came from another planet.
But the heyday of science fiction comics seems to be past. Left in the dust by the fantastic superheroes of the mainstream, sci-fi comics were most popular in the earlier half of the 20th century. Readers couldn't get enough of stories about spacemen, robots, time travel and aliens. Science fiction was hot stuff then, much hotter than it is now. It was the first time in history that humans could look to the moon, look at the stunning pace of technological advance, and actually believe that men might someday set foot upon it.
Some of the earliest science fiction comics featured Buck Rogers, who made his first appearance in the August, 1928 issue of "Amazing Stories." Along with Flash Gordon, he was one of the most famous spacemen of early comics. These heroes traveled to the future and to other planets. They did it without mutant powers, relying instead on their spaceships and futuristic gadgets.
For some reason, today's comic book fans just aren't as interested in space adventures. Maybe it's because in the years since the Golden Age of science fiction, humans have managed to actually launch spacecraft and land on the moon. As it turns out, it's really not all that exciting of a place. Our solar neighbors don't exactly have a whole lot to offer humanity, either. We've seen the reality, and it's not nearly as cool as the fiction.