Buster Crabbe #5 July 1952

Buster Crabbe #5 July 1952

For nearly three years, I embarked on a quest to obtain a copy of Buster Crabbe #5—a cherished comic that holds a special place in my collection.  My original copy was meticulously curated from my father’s old stash nearly fifty years. Amidst the sea of comic books, this particular issue always found its way to the top of the pile. Its allure? Undoubtedly, the captivating artwork of Frank Frazetta.

But the fascination doesn’t end with the artwork alone. Buster Crabbe #5 is a tapestry of genres, akin to the fusion seen in “Cowboys and Aliens.” Here, the iconic cowboy Buster Crabbe finds himself unexpectedly transported to the enigmatic landscapes of Mars, blending elements of Western and science fiction.

What makes this narrative even more intriguing is the realization that Buster Crabbe isn’t merely a fictional character—he’s based on a real person. Buster Crabbe, the Olympic champion swimmer turned Hollywood B-movie star, carved his name in history by portraying legendary figures such as Buck Rogers, Tarzan, and Flash Gordon.

Delving deeper into the pages of Buster Crabbe #5 reveals a treasure trove of artistic talent. Alongside Frazetta’s iconic cover, the issue boasts interior art by luminaries such as Al WilliamsonRoy Krenkel, and Joe Orlando. This collaborative effort not only enhances the visual appeal of the comic but also underscores the interconnectedness of the comic book industry. These same artists famously collaborated at EC Comics on titles like Weird Science and Weird Fantasy, further cementing their legacy in the annals of comic book history.

“Great galaxies!” Buster Crabbe #5 serves as a poignant reminder of the excitement and escape I experienced five decades ago searching through the ole man’s stash that today transcends beyond the boundaries of the comic book itself.