Planet Comics #44
In Chapter 1 of the Futura Saga, a secretary is kidnapped by aliens for use as breeding stock to repopulate their planet. Frightened, but not one to wait around for rescue, Futura breaks free from her captors and steals a spaceship, desperate to find her way home. Unknown to Futura her escape was engineered as a test of her survival traits and superiority to the other test subjects and her every action is being observed and evaluated. If Futura's genetic material is truly worthy of being harvested and added to the line of the BrainMen of Cymradia then her success or failure in the wild landscapes and untamed cultures of the galaxy will ultimately decide her fate. Planet Comics #44 (September 1946)
Or will it? The masters of Pan-Cosmos may discover to their regret that their test-subject might not meekly run through their maze and may smash down the walls instead and choose her own path. Planet Comics #44 is the second installment of Futura and was published in September of 1946. Issue #44 is one of the few covers that advertised Futura. None of the cover art during the run directly appeared to feature her. Most of the Planet Comics covers typically contained elements that could have been derived from all or none of the stories for that particular issue and seemed only to be tangentially representative of the contents. This is either by accident or design.
Due to deadlines and scheduling of material, most comic book covers of the era were designed and created separate from the contents of the book. It was a common practice that a "house artist" would create a cover, usually from a description of what the publisher wanted for that issue, that would hopefully capture the attention of consumers on a crowded newsstand rack. This practice continues in the comics industry, most famously at the DC Comics company in the 1960s, where under the direction of Editor Julius Schwartz cover art would be designed the writing staff would use as a guide or inspiration for a story. The art for the second chapter of Futura is on par with or superior to all the other entries in this issue, with the possible exception of the Mysta of the Moon story. As noted previously, it appears that only Futura suffered the more economical art direction that seemed to bypass the other, presumably more popular serials.
Planet Comics #44 (September 1946)
Planet Comics was a science fiction comic-book title produced by Fiction House and issued from Jan. 1940 (issue 1) to Winter 1953 (issue 73). Like many of Fiction House's early comics titles, Planet Comics was a spinoff of a pulp magazine, in this case Planet Stories, which featured space operatic tales of muscular, heroic space adventurers who were quick with their 'ray pistols' and always running into gorgeous females who needed rescue from bugeyed space aliens or fiendish interstellar bad guys.
Planet Comics #1 (January 1940)
Planet Comics was considered by noted fan Raymond Miller to be "perhaps the best of the Fiction House group," as well as "most collected and most valued." In Miller's opinion, it "wasn't really featuring good art or stories... in the first dozen or so issues," not gaining most of "its better known characters" until "about the 10th issue." "Only 3 of its long running strips started with the first issue... Flint Baker, Auro - Lord of Jupiter, and the Red Comet."