EARTH-FORBIDDEN PLANET
(see comments)

Type: Alternate Earth

Environment: Earth-like

Usual means of access: Vibrational attunement

Dominant Life Form: Humanity

Significant Inhabitants: Asterix the Gaul, Batman (Bruce Wayne), Conan, Commissioner Eustace P. Dolan, Galactus (Galan), the Gronk, Howard the Duck, the Joker, Judge Joseph Dredd, Plastic Man (Patrick "Eel" O'Brian), Red Sonja, Robby the Robot, Spikes Harvey Rotten, Superman (Clark Kent/Kal-El), the Thing (Ben Grimm), Tin, Dick Tracy, Vampirella, Wolverine (James Howlett/Logan), Wonder Woman (Princess Diana), others 

First Appearance: Star Wars Weekly#29 (August 23rd 1978)

History:
(Star Wars Weekly#29) - A newly opened comic book store in London drew a diverse clientele of adventurers, robots, aliens and superheroes. Superman began reading a copy of his debut, Action Comics#1, in the store, finding himself a stool to sit on, and was soon so lost in the story that he failed to react to Conan and Wonder Woman draping themselves on him to rudely read over his shoulder.

    A crowd of other would-be readers gathered, though Howard the Duck seemed peeved at being crowded, and possibly because he wasn't tall enough to see the comic. A staff member took notice and irately reminded them all that comics were for customers.

    Asterix looked at him in annoyance for the interruption, while the Joker worryingly shifted his focus to the man, and the Gronk stared nervously at an unseen individual who was trying to get the staff member's attention. 

(The Forbidden Planet Comic Catalogue#1) - Judge Dredd later arrested Galactus, Dick Tracy, Wolverine, Wonder Woman, Superman and Howard the Duck.

Comments: Created by Brian Bolland.

   Some might correctly point out that these were merely adverts for a comic book store. They might then conclude that because of that there was no intention of the part of either the store or Bolland to tell a story with these single panel images, and that this entry is reading far too much into them by treating them as a cohesive example of an actual alternate reality. To which I say, yes, you are entirely correct, but so what? In those single panels, Bolland's artwork manages to imply a surprising level of narrative, and besides, it's fun to have an excuse to cover Judge Dredd and Asterix the Gaul in a Marvel context, however oblique the connection. 

   It's possible that this isn't a reality all its own, but simply a couple of snapshots of Earth-Crossover, revealing that Dick Tracy, Judge Dredd, Vampirella and Asterix also exist there alongside Marvel, DC, Image, Archie and Transformer characters.
    I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be part of Earth-Crossover. That's my vote--Snood.

   Brian Bolland drew a number of adverts for British comic book store Forbidden Planet in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but I'm only including here the ones I know to have included Marvel characters. The main image was used to advertise the opening of their new store, while the second image on this page was the cover of their first comic catalogue. What's astounding to me isn't that FP got away with using so many copyrighted characters from different companies without (afaik) any permissions being sought - stores did and probably still do that all over the world on fliers and the like, relying on the owners not hearing about or caring about such small scale copyright infringements - but that the first advert actually ran in a Marvel U.K. title. It also ran in the first issue of the merged British weekly 2000A.D. and Starlord#86, and possibly other titles. Bolland similarly did a cross-company advert for 2000A.D., but subsequent adverts utilized new, deliberately outre characters. Since those later FP adverts feature no identifiable characters, no Marvel characters, and present no obvious narrative besides "various weird-looking people like us shop at Forbidden Planet," I've not covered them here.

   It's perhaps also worth mentioning that Forbidden Planet weren't the only British comic shops to advertise this way using characters from multiple companies - Dark They Were And Golden-Eyed beat them to the idea by several years.   

Profile by Loki.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Earth-Forbidden Planet has no known connections to:

Asterix has no known connections to:

Batman has no known connections to:

Conan is an extradimensional counterpart of

Commissioner Dolan has no known connections to:

Galactus is an extradimensional counterpart of

The Gronk has no known connections to:

Howard the Duck is an extradimensional counterpart of

The Joker has no known connections to:

Judge Dredd has no known connections to:

Plastic Man has no known connections to:

Red Sonja is an extradimensional counterpart of

Robby the Robot has no known connections to:

Spikes Harvey Rotten has no known connections to:

Superman has no known connections to:

The Thing is an extradimensional counterpart of

Tin has no known connections to:

Dick Tracy is an extradimensional counterpart of

Vampirella has no known connections to:

Wolverine is an extradimensional counterpart of

Wonder Woman has no known connections to:


Asterix the Gaul

 

    Asterix the Gaul was a from a small village in northern Gaul (modern day France) circa 50 B.C. which had managed to hold out against the Roman Empire thanks to the magic formula its druid produced that granted superhuman strength. Despite being one of the village's smaller warriors, Asterix was actually their greatest thanks to his superior intelligence. Too short to be able to look over Superman's shoulder, Asterix instead seemed to be annoyed by the Forbidden Planet staff member telling the group off for reading the comics in store.

 

Comments: Created by Albert Underzo and Rene Goscinny.
    Asterix debuted in the French magazine Pilote#1 (October 29, 1959).

 

--Star Wars Weekly#29


Batman

Batman was Bruce Wayne, a billionaire businessman who had devoted his life to fighting crime after witnessing his parents being murdered by a mugger when he was a young boy. He seemed to find something in Action Comics#1 of interest, and was stroking his chin, deep in contemplation to the point where he was ignoring his enduring nemesis the Joker.

Comments: Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.
    He debuted in National Allied Publications' Detective Comics#27 (May 1939).

--Star Wars Weekly#29


Conan

A Hyborian barbarian, Conan was leaning heavily on Superman's right shoulder while trying to read Action Comics#1.

Comments: Created by Robert E. Howard, adapted for comics by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith.
    Conan debuted in Weird Tales' December 1932 issue, and debuted in comics in Marvel's Conan the Barbarian#1 (October 1970).

--Star Wars Weekly#29


Commissioner Eustace P. Dolan

Police Commissioner Eustace P. Dolan was an ally of the vigilante known as the Spirit. While visiting London's Forbidden Planet, he joined a throng assembling around Superman's reading of Action Comics#1.

Comments: Created by Will Eisner.

    Dolan debuted in The Spirit newspaper strip published in Register and Tribune Syndicate newspapers from June 2nd 1940. 

--Forbidden Planet Comic Catalogue#1


Galactus

Last known survivor of the reality that existed before the Big Bang, Galan the explorer became Galactus the World-Eater.

    Rather smaller than normal, perhaps due to extreme hunger, Galactus was among a number of people rounded up by Judge Dredd.

 

--Forbidden Planet Comic Catalogue#1


The Gronk

    A timid, metal-eating alien from the planet Blas, the Gronk served as medical support for the mutant bounty hunter Johnny Alpha and his norm partner (and time-displaced Viking) Wulf Sternhammer.

    He came from a future era where atomic wars on Earth had resulted in widespread mutant births, and those mutants were prohibited from any legal work apart from the dangerous job of hunting down fugitives across outer space; those willing to undertake such employment were designated Search/Destroy Agents, but their distinctive S/D badges soon earned them a derogatory nickname: Strontium Dogs.

    On the edge of the crowd that had gathered around Superman, the Gronk seemed more concerned about whoever was trying to get the irate staff member's attention than trying to read Action Comics#1.

Comment: Created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, the Gronk first appeared in the strip Strontium Dog in I.P.C.'s Starlord#3 (May 27th 1978), a weekly SF anthology comic that later merged with 2000A.D.

    The original Gronk died helping Johnny Alpha and Wulf Sternhammer after only a few issues, but the pair encountered his identical (to humans) looking brother in Starlord#14 (August 12th 1978), and he became an enduring ally through the remainder of the series.  

--Star Wars Weekly#29


Howard the Duck

 

An unwilling exile from his home reality of Duckworld, Howard was trapped in a store he never made, to wit, London's Forbidden Planet.

    Howard had joined the crowd gathered around Superman, despite being too short to read the Kryptonian's copy of Action Comics#1, but seemed more annoyed at those surrounding him, perhaps due to the uncomfortably close proximity of Red Sonja's carelessly held sword to his tail feathers.

   

    Howard was later among the suspects rounded up by Judge Dredd, and looked justifiably worried about falling *fowl* (ahem) of the lawman.

   

--Star Wars Weekly#29  (Forbidden Planet Comic Catalogue#1


The Joker

A psychopathic criminal mastermind who plagued Gotham City and its vigilante defender Batman, the Joker had joined the fringe of the crowd that had gathered around Superman, but, too far from the Kryptonian to be able to comfortably read Action Comics#1, had his attention     drawn towards the staff member who was complaining about them reading the comic without purchasing it.

    Which probably didn't bode well for the employee...

Comments: Created by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson, the Joker debuted in National Allied Publications' Batman I#1 in Spring 1940.

--Star Wars Weekly#29


Judge Dredd

A lawman in the futuristic Mega-City One, located on the former United States' Eastern seaboard after a second Civil War that itself followed a devastating Atomic War that left much of North America as a radioactive "Cursed Earth," Judge Joseph Dredd was cloned from the DNA of one of the Justice System's founding fathers, Chief Judge Eustace Fargo, and trained from infancy to uphold the law.

    He was the top lawman in a hugely overpopulated city where the pressure of hundreds of millions living on top of one another meant that even the slightest spark could ignite full-scale wars between rival city blocks, the smallest crime had to be swiftly and harshly dealt with in order to maintain order.  

    Dredd joined the crowd gathering around Superman in Forbidden Planet, though whether this was due to being interested in Action Comics#1 or checking to see if some crime was being committed by some in the crowd remained unrevealed; certainly, in Mega-City One many comics were treated like narcotic drugs, banned for overstimulating readers to the point where they committed breaches of the peace and other crimes.

   Perhaps this was why Dredd later rounded up a number of individuals who had been in the store, along with others of their ilk.

    Howard the Duck seemed particularly frightened, perhaps having drawn Dredd's additional ire for the crime of smoking outside of a designated Smokatorium, a felony that was treated harshly in Dredd's city, where breathable-quality air was not a given.

Comments: Created by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra, Judge Dredd debuted in British SF weekly anthology 2000A.D.#2 (March 5th 1977).

--Star Wars Weekly#29  (Forbidden Planet Comic Catalogue#1


Plastic Man

    Exposed to chemicals during a botched robbery attempt at Crawford Chemical Works, small time crook Patrick "Eel" O'Brian found his body had become incredibly pliable, allowing him to stretch and distort to a superhuman extent. Deciding to turn over a new leaf, Eel became the superhero Plastic Man.

    He later used his stretching powers to move his head to a good position to read Superman's copy of Action Comics#1 despite the large crowd that surrounded the Kryptonian.

Comments: Created by Jack Cole, Plastic Man first appeared in Quality Comics' Police Comics#1 (August 1941).

--Star Wars Weekly#29


Red Sonja

    A warrior from Hyrkania, the She-Devil with a Sword Red Sonja seemed to be focused on Vampirella rather than Action Comics#1, and was seemingly unaware or uncaring that her unsheathed sword was uncomfortably close to the unamused Howard the Duck's unprotected rear, something the unusual fowl clearly felt was unacceptable.

    Given the shared glares, there appeared to be a problem between the two heroines, perhaps centered over Sonja's jealousy that Vampirella seemed able to get away with wearing even less than her.

Comments: Debuting on Conan the Barbarian I#23 (February 1973), Red Sonja was created by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith, but based on Robert E. Howard's creation Red Sonya of Rogatino, who debuted in the short story "The Shadow of the Vulture" from January 1934's The Magic Carpet Magazine.

--Star Wars Weekly#29


Robby the Robot

    Built by Doctor Morbius (not the vampire!) using the advanced science of the long-extinct alien Krell, Robby faithfully served both the scientist and his daughter Altaira while they lived in isolation on the planet Altair IV.

    He later visited the Forbidden Planet store in London, where he joined the large crowd that gathered around Superman.

Comment: Created in 1952 by Irving Block and Allen Adler, who drew their inspiration for Robby from the character of Ariel in William Shakespeare's The Tempest, written circa 1610.

    Robby was designed by Arnold "Buddy" Gillespie, Arthur Lonegan and Irving Block, developed by the MGM art department and constructed by MGM's prop department, and debuted in the (appropriately named) movie Forbidden Planet in 1956, and subsequently appeared in multiple movies and TV series.

    As far as I can tell, this advert seems to have been Robby's debut into comics; I can't help but think he must have an earlier appearance. 

--Star Wars Weekly#29


Spikes Harvey Rotten

Spikes Harvey Rotten was the leader of the Muties biker gang, whose crimes including gun-running across the Cursed Earth.

    Arrested by Judge Dredd while taking part in the lethal and highly illegal Mega-City 5000 race, he later redeemed himself by serving as a guide for Dredd's mercy mission delivering a vital vaccine for a plague that had engulfed the West Coast's Mega-City Two.

    The pair apparently took a break from that vital mission to visit London's Forbidden Planet store, and soon afterwards, upon returning to the Cursed Earth, Spikes sacrificed himself to take out the forces of the robot soldier General Blood'n'Nuts.

Comments: Created by John Wagner and Bill Ward, Spikes debuted in the Judge Dredd strip in 2000AD#40 (26th November 1977) then returned for the the start of the Cursed Earth Saga in 2000AD#61 (22nd April 1978).

    Shortly after his visit to the Forbidden Planet store in August 1978 he tragically died in 2000AD#84 (30th September 1978); his valiant sacrifice helped save the lives of everyone in Mega-City Two, at least until it was nuked out of existence at Judge Dredd's suggestion in Judge Dredd Megazine II#7 (25th July 1992); win some, lose some. 

--Star Wars Weekly#29


Superman

    Kal-El, a.k.a. Clark Kent, is the last survivor of the destroyed planet Krypton, except for his cousin Supergirl, pet dog Krypto, the primate Beppo the Supermonkey, juvenile delinquent Dev-Em, dozens (if not hundreds) of criminals exiled to the Phantom Zone such as General Zod, Jax-Ur, Quex-Ul and Faora Hu-Ul, exiled siblings Mala, Kizo and U-Ban, and the around 6 million inhabitants of the miniaturized city of Kandor.

    Being the sole survivor, he has a strong sense of duty to protect his adoptive homeworld of Earth as the hero Superman.

    While visiting London's Forbidden Planet store, he became engrossed in a copy of Action Comics#1 to the point where he seemed unaware of the crowd that had gathered around him, even the ones leaning heavily on him to read the book over his shoulders.

   He was later among the individuals rounded up by Mega-City lawman Judge Dredd.

Comments: Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman debuted in National Allied Publications' Action Comics#1 (April 18th 1938). 

 

--Star Wars Weekly#29  (Forbidden Planet Comic Catalogue#1


The Thing

    Pilot Ben Grimm was transformed into the monstrous rock-hided Thing after being exposed to cosmic rays during a test flight of his scientist friend Reed Richards' rocketship.

    He was on the far edge of the crowd that gathered around Superman in Forbidden Planet, and seemed somewhat disgruntled, perhaps because he couldn't get a could view of Action Comics#1.

 

--Star Wars Weekly#29


Tin

    Tin was one of the Metal Men robots created by scientist Doctor Will Magnus.

    Unlike most of the crowd surrounding Superman in Forbidden Planet, Tin paid attention to the upset store employee who was berating them for not paying for the comic they were reading, though his grin suggested he wasn't taking the chastising too seriously.

Comments: Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru, Tin debuted alongside the other Metal Men in DC's Showcase#37 (March-April 1962).

--Star Wars Weekly#29


Dick Tracy

    Dick Tracy was a police detective known for his distinctive yellow trenchcoat, high-tech gadgets, and a rogue's gallery of grotesque criminals.

    Despite his own lengthy association with law-enforcement, he was still among those arrested by Mega-City lawman Judge Dredd. 

Comments: Created by Chester Gould, Dick Tracy debuted in a newspaper strip in The Detroit Mirror on October 14th 1931.

--Forbidden Planet Comic Catalogue#1


Vampirella

    An underdressed space vampire from the planet Drakulon and sometimes horror host, Vampirella shared glares across the floor of London's Forbidden Planet with fellow heroine Red Sonja. The origin of this apparent feud remains unrevealed.

Comments: Created by Forrest J. Ackerman and Trina Robbins, Vampirella debuted Warren Publishing's Vampirella#1 (September 1969). And before anyone writes in to correct her description as being an alien from Drakulon, yes, I know it later got retconned, but not until several years after her appearance in this advert.

--Star Wars Weekly#29


Wolverine

    A mutant with a healing factor and Adamantium-covered bones and claws, the X-Men Wolverine was among the individuals whom Judge Dredd apparently arrested, and looked somewhat annoyed by the experience.

    Or perhaps, given his differing stance from the others Dredd confronted, Wolverine was midway through the Macarena. You decide.

--Forbidden Planet Comic Catalogue#1


Wonder Woman

    An Amazon from the hidden island of Themyscira, Princess Diana was known as Wonder Woman to the wider world.

    She joined many others gathered round Superman in London's Forbidden Planet store trying to read the Kryptonian's copy of Action Comics#1.

   She was later amongst the individuals Judge Dredd apparently suspected guilty of unrevealed crimes.

Comments: Created by psychologist, author, inventor and bondage-aficionado William Moulton Marston and artist Harry G. Peter, Wonder Woman debuted in All-American Publications' All Star Comics#8 (January 1942).

--Star Wars Weekly#29  (Forbidden Planet Comic Catalogue#1


Unidentified
An unidentified one-eyed tentacled alien, an irate store employee, and an unidentified individual whose hand was trying to get the employee's attention were also all present in Forbidden Planet the day Superman decided to read Action Comics#1.

Comments: I can't help but feel that the glove on the hand is familiar, and I should recognize who it belongs to, but I haven't been able to figure it out yet. Please let me know if you know who it is!

--Star Wars Weekly#29


images: (without ads)
Star Wars Weekly#29 advert (main image plus headshots for Asterix, Batman, Conan, Dolan, Gronk, Judge Dredd, Plastic Man, Red Sonja, Robby, Spikes, Superman, Tin, Thing, Vampirella, Wonder Woman and annoyed staff member, annoyed Howard the Duck body shot, unidentified alien and unidentified hand)
Forbidden Planet Comic Catalogue#1 cover (secondary image, plus headshots for Dick Tracy, Galactus, Wolverine, plus surrendering Howard and arresting Dredd)


Appearances:
Star Wars Weekly#29 (August 23rd 1978) - Brian Bolland (writer, art)
Forbidden Planet Comic Catalogue#1 (Winter 1979-1980) - Brian Bolland (writer, art)


First Posted: 02/06/2019
Last updated: 02/06/2019

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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