Foreword for Tommy Tomorrow…

Wikipedia cites Tommy Tomorrow as a DC Comics science-fiction hero published in various titles from 1947 to 1963. Col. Tommy Tomorrow was a tall, blonde, blue-eyed paragon of virtue attired in a tight-fitting magenta uniform, incongruous British military-style walk shorts (Bermuda shorts), and yellow boots (that matched his hair). 

Tommy and his partner, Capt. Brent Woods, were futuristic policemen serving in the extraterrestrial law enforcement organization called the “Planeteers.” The Planeteers patrolled every planet, moon, and asteroid in Earth’s solar system, which in spite of even the known astrophysics of the day, were all habitable and populated with nefarious humans, bizarre aliens, and fantastic flora and fauna.

Despite his faults, I still liked Tommy Tomorrow. I suppose I felt that way because it was at least good-hearted juvenile science-fiction. (Although I could never figure out how Tommy got such an odd surname as “Tomorrow.”) 

This Lesser Hero story is influenced by, of course, the Tommy Tomorrow series, but also: the naïve stories published in the old Boy’s Life (now Scout Life) magazine; pulp sci-fi stories from the 1950s and ‘60s set in a domed city floating in space (an image that haunts my daydreams to this day); Gene Wolfe’s 1974 Hugo Award-winning novella, The Death of Doctor Island; Michael Wm. Kaluta’s production art and promotional comic books for Elaine Lee’s 1980 sci-fi play, Starstruck; and of course, lest I forget, composer and bandleader, John Philip Sousa.


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