Or so warns this December, 1953 Mechanix Illustrated article ” How Nuclear Radiation Can Change Our Race” with nice opening spread illustrated by the late comic artist Kurt Schaffenberger.
An atomic war could produce an entirely new species of man. Would he be friend – or foe?
“Now hear this Earth! I am Mutant Man, Homo Superior! I have been created by radiation forces out of the loins of you, the human race, after your great terrible Atom War. Yes, I am a step up and beyond you, and I am now your master for better or worse. You created me in your blind, savage, senseless war of atomic radiation. You have only yourselves to blame if I turn out to be your — Frankenstein Monster!”
Will this voice someday thunder ominously over the World from a Mutant Man, not a human being, but as far beyond us as we are beyond the ape man? Will a new race, spawned out of the hellish radiation of a World-Wide Atomic War, go on to challenge Man’s supremacy on Earth?
Schaffenberger was an artist for Marvel and DC comics, most notably doing Lois Lane, Superman’s Girlfriend. The lower left inset panel shows how the Mutant “Friend” scenario might play out, with the Mutants helping to better humanity by teaching chemistry. Is that Lois and Clark in the audience?
The majority of the drawing however is given over to the more dramatic and likely to unfold “Mutant Foe” situation.
This guy bears a bit of a resemblance to Dick Cheney getting ready for a quail hunt.