Membership: At least three male crew-members of the spacecraft Space Bird No. 1  (none identified) (see comments)

Purpose: Launched from Earth, the astronauts were on a mission to explore space.

Aliases: "Bugs" (as called by "Paw")

Affiliations: "Boy" (name unrevealed)

Enemies: "Paw" (name unrevealed)

Base of Operations: An unidentified alien planet; formerly mobile in space aboard Space Bird No. 1; originally from the United States of America, Earth (see comments)

First Appearance: World of Mystery#3/1 (October, 1956)

(World of Mystery#3/1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point in time (see comments), the crew of the Space Bird No. 1 spaceship launched from Earth on a mission to explore space.

   The spaceship eventually entered the orbit of an alien world that was remarkably similar to Earth in the 1950s, with one major difference: The planet's humanoid inhabitants were of a relatively colossal stature, such that Earthlings were only of insect-size in comparison.

   As the spaceship passed through the planet's atmosphere, its exterior was heated by friction, causing it to become blackened and pitted, and the craft's doors were fused closed.

   The spaceship crashed through the roof of a huge barn on a farm located in a rural region of the alien world, and it smashed into the barn's floorboards.

(World of Mystery#3/1) - Late one night on their farm, "Paw" and his son were awakened by a crash, so the two went outside of their house to investigate. They found a hole smashed through the roof of the barn, and "Boy" speculated that it might have been caused by something from space; "Paw" scolded his son for reading too much science-fiction.

   The father and son went into the barn and found a battered metal cylindrical object smashed into the floorboards of the structure. "Boy" thought it might be a spaceship, but "Paw" told him there wasn't any life on other planets... and besides, the cylinder was too small--it was probably just a pipe-fitting that was dropped from a passing plane. Then "Boy" heard sounds coming from the cylinder, as if there were something--or someone--inside. Getting frustrated by his son's wild claims, "Paw" ordered "Boy" to fetch his saw so he could prove to him how foolish his ideas were.

   "Paw's" keyhole-saw screeched and bit into the metal as he cut out a small square opening in the hollow cylinder; then the father and son saw some tiny creatures emerge from the hole. "Paw" grabbed his insecticide sprayer to kill the "bugs," but "Boy" begged his father not to do so until they had a closer look at the creatures. Rapidly losing his patience with his son, "Paw" nonetheless sprayed the insecticide at the "bugs"--he discovered the sprayer was almost empty, but there was still enough of the chemical left to render the "bugs" unconscious. After taking a closer look at the tiny creatures, "Boy" claimed that they weren't "bugs" at all, because they were wearing clothes!

   Although he didn't have his glasses with him, "Paw" still insisted that the creatures were only insects, but "Boy" claimed that the "bugs" were actually beings like himself and "Paw," only they were so small that "Paw" couldn't see the details--"Boy" could, because he was younger and had better eyes than his father. The exasperated "Paw" was fed up with his son--he told "Boy" that a better imagination--not better eyesight--was what he really had, and he ordered "Boy" to get back in the house and to never speak of fanciful things again ("Folks'll be sayin' my son ain't right in the head!"); "Boy" begrudgingly returned to the house.

   "Paw" scooped the unconscious "bugs" back into the cylinder, then carried it to a trash can--he thought to himself that he'd dump the whole can in the gully in the morning, and that would put an end to his fool son's wild imaginings.

   As he turned away to go back to the house, "Paw" hadn't noticed that the edge of the trash can had scraped the blackness away from a small section at the side of the cylinder--lettering, faint but unmistakable, was visible, revealing the cylinder to actually be a spaceship from Earth.

   Mankind had made its first contact with an alien planet, and inside the trash can, the groggy Earthmen found themselves stranded on a world of giants...

Comments: Created by an unidentified writer and Angelo Torres (artist).

...and the final fate of these "ant-men" remains unresolved.

This group of astronauts was never referred to by any particular name, so I just identified them by this 4-page story's title: The Bugs!

From the beginning, the reader was led to believe that this story actually took place on Earth, and that "Paw" and "Boy" were humans; the surprise twist-ending in the last two story-panels revealed to the reader that it was actually the "Bugs" who were the Earthlings.

The names of the giant father and son were never mentioned, and they only addressed each other as "Paw" and "Boy".

No specific year was mentioned for when the spacecraft launched from Earth, so we can only assume that it was sometime in the future.

The total crew complement of Space Bird No. 1 was unrevealed, and we can only clearly see three of them in the final story-panel; when I magnified one of the other panels where they appeared as "bugs," I could count a total of perhaps ten, but considering the relatively large size of the spaceship, there were probably more.

A few years after this story was published, the old TV series The Twilight Zone would have an episode -- The Invaders -- that had a very similar plot. And a few years later still, there was the TV series Land of the Giants, which was also very similar to this story.

Profile by Ron Fredricks

The "Bugs" have no known connections to:

"Paw" has no known connections to:

"Boy" has no known connections to:

Space Bird No. 1 spaceship

An American exploratory vessel launched from Earth at some point in time (see comments), it carried an unspecified number of crewmen to a world of giants.

The spaceship crash-landed on a farm, and the farmer--"Paw"--thought it to merely be a pipe-fitting that dropped off a passing plane.

"Paw" used a saw to cut a hole in the spaceship; the crew emerged from the hole, and "Paw" thought them to be bugs, although "Paw's" son --"Boy"--claimed that the "bugs" were actually tiny people.

After spraying the crew with some insecticide and rendering them unconscious, "Paw" scooped the "bugs" back in the spaceship and carried it to a garbage can.

But as "Paw" put the spaceship in the garbage can, the edge of the can had scraped an area of friction-burned residue from the side, exposing the lettering that revealed the spacecraft's true nature.

--World of Mystery#3/1


"Paw" was a farmer on an unidentified alien world where the inhabitants were giants in comparison to Earthlings.

He lived on a farm with his son ("Boy").

"Paw" was apparently far-sighted, and he usually wore eyeglasses with corrective lenses; because he wasn't wearing his glasses at the time, "Paw" was unable to see that the "bugs" were really tiny humans.

--World of Mystery#3/1


The son of "Paw," he lived on an unidentified alien world where the inhabitants were giants in comparison to Earthlings.

"Boy" was imaginative, and he enjoyed reading science-fiction books.

He had better vision than his father, so "Boy" was able to discern that the "bugs" were really tiny humans.

--World of Mystery#3/1

images: (without ads)
World of Mystery#3/1, p4, pan7 (Main Image - three "Bugs" in trash can)
World of Mystery#3/1, p3, pan3 ("Boy" and "Paw" looking down on "Bugs" standing around hole in spaceship)
World of Mystery#3/1, p3, pan5 ("Paw" spraying insecticide at "Bugs" as "Boy" watches)
World of Mystery#3/1, p1, pan3 ("Bugs'" spaceship crashed in barn, "Boy" and "Paw" in background)
World of Mystery#3/1, p4, pan4 ("Paw" carries "Bugs'" spaceship to trash can)
World of Mystery#3/1, p4, pan6 ("Bugs'" spaceship in trash can, lettering revealed on side)
World of Mystery#3/1, p2, pan7 ("Paw")
World of Mystery#3/1, p3, pan4 ("Paw" with insecticide sprayer, as "Boy" begs him not to kill "Bugs")
World of Mystery#3/1, p3, pan6 ("Boy" realizes what "Bugs" really are)
World of Mystery#3/1, p3, pan7 ("Boy" holds "Bugs" in his hand as "Paw" looks on)

World of Mystery#3/1 (October, 1956) - unidentified writer, Angelo Torres (pencils & inks), Stan Lee (editor)

Last updated: 01/13/18.

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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