Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday Comics: Storm: City of the Damned

My exploration of the long-running euro-comic Storm, continues. Earlier installments can be found here.

Storm: City of the Damned (1982) (part 2)
(Dutch: Stad der Verdoemden)
Art by Don Lawrence & Script by Kelvin Gosnell

Through the device given him by the city's representative, Storm sees the fall of the 25th Century. The massive array of satellites around the Earth somehow  delivered a surged of deadly solar radiation through all the world's television sets and monitors. What few that were left in the ruins of society soon reverted to barbarism. If Storm returns to the past he will most likely die, but he stubbornly still intends to go.

The man reluctantly agrees to take Storm to Terminal One. On the way, he shows off the space and amenities of the city. When they pass a fire, he also gets to point out the robot emergency services directed by the central computer. Unfortunately, the robot transport breaks down. The building will be sealed to smother the fire, killing the people inside.

Storm and Ember rush to the rescue. Elsewhere a woman named Anor monitors the events. She is intriqued by Storm's behavior. She appears never to have seen "courage" before. Storm has a little girl in his arms, but the fire rages around him. Anor's unseen Master bids her to help him. She doesn't feel her powers are equal to the task, but she does as commanded.

Storm manages to jump to safety. The girl is safe, and Ember commends him on the rescue. For his part, Storm feels like he had some help in some way.

They travel on to Terminal One. The man shows Storm and Ember the central computer. All the important decisions for the city are made there. Before the man programs it to take Storm to the 25th century, Storm wants to ask it some questions. First off: What's the purpose of the city?

The computer tells him that after the barbarian invasion, the people of the city began to study humanity, to understand the setbacks that seem to periodically plague civilization. They studied evolution, then began to look toward man's future development. They began to look for and develop psychic powers. One subject developed telekinetic powers, but he couldn't control them and had to be atomized.

Storm questions the necessity of that action. The computer responds that it was not programmed for morality, only to protect the city. The computer then surprises Storm be making a request of him...



Anthony said...

Oh irony. Remember the space helmet Storm found in "The Green Hell"? Well, script writer Dick Matena originally planned this to be a virtual reality helmet with which Storm would find out what happened in the past. But the staff of "Eppo" magazine weren't interested in such a story. They wanted "Storm" to become another "Trigan Empire". And then four episodes later (and Don Lawrence stating he wants to go into a fantasy direction because he had more than enough of sci-fi), script writer Kelvin Gosnell made Storm find out what happened in the past... through a virtual reality helmet!

Oh, and you're constantly writing that Storm wants to go back to the 25th century, but of course that should be the 21st.

Trey said...

In the translation I am reading it clearly says 25th, which would be Ember's era which they just left. Maybe it's a mistake, but it's a consistent one.

Anthony said...

Sorry, but then it's a bad translation. The 25th is not even Ember's era, Storm had been teleported MILLIONS of years into the future during his first time going into the Red Spot.

Trey said...

Good to know. To think the expensive Don Lawrence collection messed it up. Unless they were retconning Storm's time? Either way, sloppy.

Anthony said...

Yeah, that is very surprising. I didn't know about that, but then I only have one English album at the moment (The one with episode 13 & 14: "The Slayer of Eriban" and my favourite episode "The Hounds of Marduk), and read the whole series in Dutch.
Anyway, the last episode by Don Lawrence, "The Armageddon-Traveller", clearly shows that Storm HAS to be from the 21st century... but I'm not sure if I should write about that, it would of course be a spoiler for those who haven't read "Storm" before and are now discovering the series through your articles.