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"The Face on Mars": the Comic Strip

Here seems to be something that is rather strange: During September in the year 1958 a comic book was published called: "The Face On Mars" (http://kirbymuseum.org/thefaceonmars), by the famous comic book author Jack Kirby (1917-1994). This was however 18 years before the discovery of the so called "Face" by the Viking orbiter in the year 1976. Kirby's depiction of his Face on Mars bears a rather striking resemblance to the real one, as far as we can see the face on Mars below its layer of sand. The biggest difference is that the face in the comic is standing upright instead of laying down.; Just compare the broad nose, wide mouth and wide eyes which look as if without sockets.

How could he have known about the face on Mars? Kirby was known to have an obsession with aliens UFOs and ancient astronauts. It is assumed that he was also been inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs' comic series called: "John Carter of Mars' from the '20's. According to science fiction legend Fritz Leiber, Burrough's himself was influenced by the insights of "Madame" Blavatsky's Theosophical Society, thus likewise Kirby's also could have got the idea from the information of psychic intuitives, or perhaps he himself saw it in a dream or vision.

A complete description of the comic, from the website: www.comicbookresources.com:


"The Face On Mars", penciled by Jack Kirby and inked by Al Williamson. – On an expedition from the earth’s moon to the planet Mars, an international team of astronauts – led by American Ben Fisher – discover a huge carving of a Martian face – that’s as big as a mountain!

Ascending to the inscrutable statue’s hollow eyes, Fisher plunges inside, where he finds a green, sunlit countryside with cool, rich and breathable air, one which shelters a civilization of ‘magnificent giants.’

Suddenly, the otherworldly city is attacked by insect-like airborne craft, which bomb the giant’s homeland into ruins. Outraged, Fisher blasts away at the potato-like invaders who emerge from the landing aircraft, offering them a taste of their own ‘medicine.’

Appalled by the wanton destruction, Fisher eventually locates a hidden stronghold of the surviving members of the race of Martian giants. As he eavesdrops, the earthman sees one of them pilot a rocket to destroy their enemy’s home base, an unknown planet located somewhere between Mars and Jupiter!

Face on Mars comic
(Click image to enlarge)

Suddenly, Fisher begins to gasp for breath! Blacking out as he falls into oblivion, Fisher eventually awakens on the floor of the Martian desert, with an oxygen mask strapped to his face, while his expedition-mates hover over him.

Fisher explains that the statue [the Face on Mars] contains ‘a visual history of a race’s heroic death – and the triumph of a surviving memory’. Later, as they pilot their rocket to Jupiter, to earth, Fisher and his team take careful notice of the debris-strewn asteroid belt – ‘the pieces of a planet that blew up between Mars and Jupiter …."


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