Black Comic Lords (BCL)

Weird Fantasy #18

Issue: Weird Fantasy #18

Year: Dated 1953 but published in 1952


  • Contains a Groundbreaking story called “Judgement Day” which contains a surprise ending that reveals the story to be anti-racist and thus did not sit well with readers of the day.
  • Judgement day’s main character is an astronaut named Tarelton who is revealed to be a black man in the last panel of the story.


Additional Detail:  This book should require no introduction, but unfortunately it does. The last story in this book is a tale titled, “Judgement Day”. The story involves an astronaut that travels to audit a robot civilized planet to determine whether the planet’s society is worthy of inclusion in Earth’s Galactic Republic.

To his surprise, he not only discovers the technological advances of the robots’ civilization, but he observes that the robots have also embedded institutionalized racist ordinances on the planet.

So, Tarelton informs the society that they are not yet worthy to join the Earth’s Galactic Empire.

The story is most known for its final panel, where the astronaut removes his helmet and it’s revealed to be a black man the entire time. This did not sit well with a lot of readers.
This became a very controversial comic book. As a matter of fact, EC Comics were singled-out claiming that their comics were potentially damaging to America’s youth. As a result, many of EC Comics were cast into bonfires. The Comics Code Authority demanded that publishers, including EC, had to tone down their content in order to receive the Comic Code Authority (CCA) seal.

The ‘Judgement Day’ story was republished in ‘Incredible Science Fiction 33’, the last EC Comics publication. Upon submission to the CCA to be given the seal, Judge Charles F. Murphy refused to issue the seal because the astronaut in the story was a “black man”.

Bill M. Gaines, publisher of EC Comics, threatened to take his case to the Supreme Court, and expose Murphy and the CCA for their bigotry and barbarous treatment. Then Judge Murphy told Gaines he can have the comics seal, only if the drops of perspiration were removed from the black man’s face. Gaines vehemently refused Murphy’s request and ran the story in its original form.

Credit to Rico Jones (IG – Blackkeycomics) for info on this book.