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How To Succeed In Love

Imagine a nuclear war has caused world wide devastation. A few pockets of humanity survive and those who have are spread in tiny pockets and forced to adapt to a new way of life that is both simpler and harder. This is the premise of the Atomic Knights. As a kid it was one of my favorite comic strips mainly because of what my childhood selftook as a more scientific nature and it seemed different enough from superhero comics. The feature appeared irregularly in Strange Adventures in the early 1960s and was later reprinted in the same book along with Adam Strange stories after my interest in comics began. During my many trips as a kid to look for back issues to Boss Drugs and old lady Stuan’s second hand and sewing shop I scored a few originals for the ridiculous price of a nickel.

Recently I re-read a few of those stories. They just weren’t the same. Well, they are. The stories still have a certain charm, but it’s very obvious now that they were a product of their time, especially when showing the relationship between Douglas, the  defacto leader, and token female Marene, who became an Atomic Knight only because no one else could fit into a small suit of armor. Yes, they wore real suits of armor. Don’t ask me to explain! At first Marene wistfully hopes to date confident alpha male Douglas, but he’s too focused on saving the few residents of Durvale and hanging out with the other Knights in their he man’s club. As the series progressed so did their relationship, hormones and behavior in check according to contemporary morals, thank you very much. Case in point: it’s the end of civilization as you know it, food is scarce, and technology is largely non-existent. And amazingly, in this post-apolyptic world you’re in love, yet there’s something essential missing from a fulfilling romantic relationship.

Yes, you need a car so you can take the little woman to lover’s lane and chastely make out. A vehicle is what every man needs to guarantee love and sex after the world has gone straight to hell.

April 19, 2011
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