“The Long Road Home!”
Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: Pat Broderick
It is the far future of 2010 and the Ares VII mission is returning from its five year mission to Mars. Getting no answer from Earth the crew splash down off Coney Island in New York. There the crew is attacked by savages and one of their number killed but the other four are saved by a floater from the domed city. The ‘Domies’ as the inhabitants of a futuristic domed city in Manhattan are called take the survivors inside. At first the crew is relieved that there is still civilization after a nuclear war destroyed the planet.
But there is a sinister side to the city. The crew finds that the Domies are taking the savages and bleeding them dry in a mechanized assembly line. The savages outside have developed immunities to the diseases while the Domies are not immune. Thus they use the savages blood to drink and are in effect vampires. The crew free the captives and in a gun battle escape the domed city. But a hostile gang of savages awaits them outside.
The first in a short lived series from Atlas comics. Atlas was a company formed by a disgruntled former founder of Marvel who was unhappy his son was fired from Marvel so decided to form a rival company. Well history shows that Marvel clearly came out on top. This series is a fascinating idea. God am I old. I remember when 2010 was a long way into the future. A future that envisioned a mission to Mars and black men that still wore Afros and talked jive. Amusing how it turned out. The story is a blend of “Planet of the Apes”, “Omega Man” and a Hammer horror film. Surprised that this title was never revived.