Jet Scott Volume One

Jet Scott Volume 1 cover

In the 1950s, when the world was faced with strange or anomalous threats, there was one man who was called on to set the situation right — Jet Scott of the Office of Scientifact! Whether it was tracking down deadly Banthrax germs, uncovering the source of strange ocean creatures, or discovering the cause of spontaneously combusting pipelines in Saudi Arabia, Jet Scott was the adventurer who could get to the truth!

* Jerry Robinson is one of the best known of all the artists who have drawn Batman over the years and is often credited with creating the Joker, one of comics’ greatest villains!

* Dark Horse Comics is proud to collect the Jet Scott comic strips, for the first time ever, which were originally published from 1953 to 1955 by the New York Herald Tribune!

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One look at those eyebrows on the front cover and I was hooked. Here was a comic strip I had never heard of, drawn by Jerry Robinson and written by Sheldon Stark.

I don’t know all the ins and outs of science fiction, but this strip is more detective strip than anything else. Scott works for Scientifact, a pseudo-government office out of the Pentagon. The strip feels a lot like Buz Sawyer, Rip Kirby and Steve Canyon. Every caper involves technology and exotic locations, with Scott finding a woman to work with, or against, and solve the problem with brains and charm.

The stories are quite varied, moving from ocean to desert, office to remote island. And with each a memorable villain, male and female. Some resolutely diabolical, some victims of circumstance. Stark presents a nice mixture of characters and keeps the stories moving. Everything is firmly planted in the 1950s when it was written.

That 1950s setting carries strongly through the art, with locations and costumes. Robinson is the big draw to this book and his art shines. It’s a clean and definitive look and style, which would have highlighted the era when published but now provides a detailed peek into the past.

Based on the information provided in the ancillary material Dark Horse had Robinson’s full cooperation and access to files. Most of the Sundays appear to be hand coloured and are most likely Robinson’s originals or printer proofs. These present the best and are a genuine treat.

The larger presentation of the dailies, two to a 12″ x 9″ page, allow the strips to spread out and let the reader really enjoy the art. Reproduction is quite good, with a few strips suffering from heavy blacks and rough lines.

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Extras are always exciting to find after reading through, and this volume doesn’t disappoint. We’re treated to more treasures from Robinson’s studio archives, including roughs and advertisements.

The production is excellent: a sewn binding of a medium weight glossy paper. The design really pops with that excellent use of primary colours. It’s interesting Alessi did the design but Cartoonists Studio, Robinson’s company, did the cover and chapter introductions.

A few things struck me as I read the volume. First, look at the last panel on the left page below. That panel looks unmistakably like Steve Ditko, but I couldn’t find any mention of him assisting on this strip. Second, the Sunday on the right below. In the first panel our heroine says “lucky I didn’t wear my nylons” but in panels six and seven you can see the seam of her nylons clearly down the back of her legs. Was the dialogue written after the page was drawn, or did Robinson miss that or not read the dialogue?

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I have had both volumes of Jet Scott for several years, bought at a deep discount, but they’ve languished on my shelf until now. Like a lot of newspaper strip reprints, this one has languished too long in the shadows.

This volume is in stock at Diamond and as such is available from comic book retailers. Don’t pay the exorbitant Amazon prices.

Jet Scott Volume 1 HC – $27.99

from Things From Another World