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I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets! (The Complete Works of Fletcher Hanks, #1)
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I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets! (The Complete Works of Fletcher Hanks #1)

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  869 Ratings  ·  112 Reviews
Welcome to the bizarre world of Fletcher Hanks, Super Wizard of the Inkwell. Fletcher Hanks worked for only a few years in the earliest days of the comic book industry (1939-1941). Because he worked in a gutter medium for second-rate publishers on third-rate characters, his work has been largely forgotten. But among aficionados he is legendary. At the time, comic books wer ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published June 6th 2007 by Fantagraphics (first published January 1st 2007)
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Sam Quixote
Apr 05, 2015 Sam Quixote rated it liked it
Stardust is the most remarkable man ever! He’s a Super Wizard who flies around the cosmos in a yellow condom but tends to focus his attention towards America! His powers are whatever the story demands!

Fantomah is the most remarkable (Fletcher Hanks loves this word) woman ever! She’s a Jungle Protector who flies around the jungle in a white condom and her powers are whatever the story demands!

There’s also a couple of one-off, remarkable beefcakes called Big Red McLane (he’s a lumberjack and he’
Apr 17, 2013 Krycek rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Comics fans, fans of the weird
I think Robert Crumb says it best: "Fletcher Hanks was a twisted dude." This stuff is absolutely amazing. While Fletcher Hanks only did comics from 1939-1941 and wrote pretty standard super-hero type storylines, they are of such bizarro quality that I'm mesmerized by the sheer weirdness of it all. 

Hanks' heroes are nearly omnipotent-- 
Stardust, the scientific marvel whose vast knowledge of all planets has made him the most remarkable person ever known, is devoting his abilities to crime-busting
Apr 06, 2016 Kenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
What an undiscovered genius.
David Schaafsma
Jun 06, 2014 David Schaafsma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gn-classic
Bizarre, hilarious, primitive, poster-colored, cliched, simple, fresh… Done in 1939-1941 in the infancy of comics, much of his work lost, but here it is, strange but rescued from the dust heap of history… Paul Karasik's afterward comic on visiting Fletcher Hanks, Jr. is priceless, and disturbing, and funny… Like many other comic artists such as Art Spiegelman, Seth and Chris Ware, Karasik is sentimental about and appreciative of comic history. Good thing, as now some of these early, sometimes cr ...more
Jan 09, 2008 Steve rated it it was amazing
If there's one thing I truly love, it's strange shit, and this volume is a cornucopia of balls-out, nonsensical four-color madness. Golden Age cartoonist Fletcher Hanks is a name long relegated to the murky mists of comics history obscurity, but now his completely insane works have been unearthed and laid out for your jaw-dropping edification. The guy's stuff brings to mind a creative gene-splicing of Basil Wolverton and Ed Wood, so stop and think about that one for a minute.

According to his son
Feather Mista
Aug 31, 2014 Feather Mista rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Hijos de puta
Recommended to Feather by: Espantosismo
Shelves: supermanianos
"Fletcher Hanks fue un tipo retorcido" dijo Robert Crumb.
Yo me arriesgaría a agregar "Un reverendo sorete. Un hijo de puta borracho que le partió la quijada a la mujer, tiró a su hijo de cuatro años por la escalera de una patada, unos años después le afanó el chanchito de los ahorros (que el chico había juntado arreglando redes de pesca y vendiendo verduras) para rajarse de la casa, desentenderse por completo de sus cuatro hijos y nunca más volver". Una de esas pocas personas con las que me dan
May 17, 2014 Mia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comic-gn
Amazing! Robert Crumb loved him, which makes sense. I loved the afterword as well.
I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets !

Here's a book that grabs you and shakes you !

I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets !

A book that makes you go What The F$£% at least 60 times !

I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets !

Never in your life have you seen such a combination of psychedelic, happy, sad, good, bad, rock'em, sock'em action !

I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets !

A book that makes you wonder about the sanity of Fletcher Hanks, because never has there been a comic book
Sep 01, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it
Recommended to Andrew by: 100
Shelves: c-comics-alt
In the gang hideout:

"Our anti-solar ray will check all motions and thereby destroy the power of the earth's gravity! Do you know what that will mean? As soon as the motion stops, all the people will fly off the earth's surface into outer space!"

"What will happen to us?"

"We'll chain ourselves to the ground!"

"But first, we'll charge the earth with out hydraulic balance ray to keep the water on the surface, and we'll magnetize all automobiles and ships so that they will stay on earth!"


This is al
My mind knows that this is a very valuable piece of work, this collection from one of the pioneers of comic books. And I did like the last chapter from the point of view of the guy who actually brought it all together. I appreciate the weird sense of justice and punishment that these heroes have. But I didn't enjoy it. The heroes are all-powerful and have no weakness, so there is no tension to any of the stories. I also don't get how, like other reviewers have pointed out, the heroes waited unti ...more
Rob McMonigal
Dec 23, 2007 Rob McMonigal rated it liked it
Back in the days when comic books were just getting going, lots of creators who weren't as lucky as Bob Kane, Joe Simon, or Jack Kirby, threw things against the wall to see what would stick. There were almost no rules, certainly no code, and the Names of the Golden Age weren't quite there yet.

Enter Fletcher Hanks, whose batshit insane ideas are collected in two volumes (this is the first), including Stardust, a guy with powers even Clark Kent would envy and a vengeance that puts the Spectre to s
Shawn Aldridge
Nov 21, 2007 Shawn Aldridge rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone

Stardust the Super Wizard.

Hanks was a creator during the Golden Age of comics, when everyone was trying to create their Superman. A time when no one really knew what the #$@! they were doing, but that was the beauty of it. No rules had been established. You made it up as you went along. And that's exactly how this book reads, as if Hanks was just making it up from panel to panel.

This stuff is absolutely off the wall!! A surrealistic work of genius.

David Enos
Nov 30, 2007 David Enos rated it it was amazing
These are from the 30's; deformed, beefy male and female "heroes" exact unneccesarily mean, often-times pre-emptive punishments on even uglier villains. The woman can change her face into a skull, and the man is named 'Star-Dust, most interesting man alive.' He has a disgusting baby's head and pointed toes.
Amy Beth Eisenberg
Feb 07, 2009 Amy Beth Eisenberg rated it liked it
What is going on here?!. I have never seen art like this in my life. It is seriously jaw-dropping. The stories are pretty lame in an endearing way and seem to have been written by a crazy person. You don't need to own this, but you should definitely try to get a look at it somehow.
Feb 14, 2008 Andrew rated it really liked it
This books is demented. Picked this up on a whim cause I liked the printing, but found myself fascinated by the bizzare stories and the afterward, in which the compiler/editor adds his own strangely touching comic about his discovery of these neglected works.
Oct 19, 2011 Joshlynn marked it as to-read
Shelves: comics-and-comix
After getting a taste of Fletch's gloriously stupid work in the Supermen! anthology, I can't wait to get my hands on these two tomes. He's already rocketed up my list of favorite outsider artists.
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Aug 24, 2016 Jon(athan) Nakapalau rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, comics
Think the Ed Wood of comics and you are there! This stuff is so bad it is good!
Darren Cormier
Aug 08, 2011 Darren Cormier rated it liked it
This is not a review of the book of the same title. No, really, it's not. It's a manifesto, first espoused here on this semi-read blog, of how I, a mild-mannered thirty-something writer, considered polite by most, shall, in actuality, and with an abundance of commas, one day destroy all the civilized planets.

Seriously, that's what it is.

Why are you laughing?

Well, okay. It's not a manifesto, and I fully lack the world domination gene, so, I suppose... reluctantly and with much sighing... I should
Charles Dee Mitchell
Comic writer and historian Paul Karasik has said that ," Hanks worked on second-rate characters for third-rater publishers." Keep in mind that Karasik is also the man who who has seen all of Fletcher Hanks' known work back into publication, and who at other times refers to him as a genius. We are dealing here with an interesting case.

Hanks' comics appeared between 1939 and 1941. His two principle characters were The Super Wizard Stardust and Fantomah, Mystery Woman of the Jungle. Both are great
Peter Derk
Mar 04, 2013 Peter Derk rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
Weirder than expected.
It's an interesting artifact, to be sure. I didn't read the whole thing. Part way through I decided that I was enjoying skimming it more than reading it word for word.
The setup isn't all that shocking. We have Stardust, who is kind of like Superman except he also has magical and scientific powers. This comic didn't spend a ton of time explaining the science behind any of this, which isn't terribly interesting anyway.
What's interesting is the plans of the villains and the cr
Oct 03, 2007 Rick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
The world of comics was radically different in 1939. No single artist proves this dictum than the largely-forgotten Fletcher Hanks. I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets!, the first collection of Hanks' work, introduces a new generation to this artist's strange works.

Soon after the April, 1938 introduction of Superman in Action Comics #1, new publishers sprang up and needed content for the suddenly-popular comic books. Almost anyone who could draw landed a job in the burgeoning industry. Dur
Jan 24, 2009 Tim rated it really liked it
This book is wild. Short comics from a guy named Fletcher Hanks who was writing back in the 30s. The plots are formulaic and get kind of annoying in that they are SO similar, after a while, BUT the crazy makes up for it. Instead of people learning lessons or simply being punished for their evil doings right before they screw everything up big time.... the bad guys usually wipe out massive amounts of people, like, say...the whole city of new york, before Hanks' wild hero, Stardust (who lives on a ...more
Jul 06, 2013 Guy rated it it was amazing
Imagine a artistic talent in the vein of Carl Burgos or Bill Everett as a, perhaps, bullied 10-year-old with an unbridled imagination and you would probably still not even come close to the the comics of Fletcher Hanks. This is the first volume to collect a large portion of Hanks' vividly illustrated revenge fantasies. The targets of his vindictive ire are generally criminals, frequently Communists, Fifth Columnists and, occasionally, thinly veiled ethnic European-American stereotypes. His super ...more
I cannot overestimate how much I loved this book. And for whatever reason, I read the short story about the editor meeting Hanks's son before reading the book and so this knowledge of Hanks the drunk and negligent father influenced how I read the entire book. Hanks's main characters--Stardust and Fantomah--are so ridiculously overpowered that there is no question going into the story about who is going to come out on top. If anything, once you get a couple stories in there is a pervading sense o ...more
Apr 01, 2012 Jenn rated it liked it
An interesting collection of a forgotten artist. Hanks created comics in the early days of the medium, quitting around the beginning of WWII. The stories are fairly much the same--they mostly feature Stardust, a "super-wizard" of technology who lives in space and Fatomah, guardian of the jungle. Both of these creations have amazing superpowers, and are utterly invincible. Which quickly removes any narrative tension from the stories--neither character is ever in any danger, there is never any que ...more
ash newton
Mar 12, 2016 ash newton rated it liked it
Shelves: novigraafix
fletcher hanks was apparently not so good a dude, but if his bright and pulpy-to-the-core comics were any indication, he wanted the world to be a "good" place. his practically omnipotent characters fantomah and the super-wizard stardust are agents of wish fulfillment, always foiling bizarre and inexplicable plots by one-note villains (some of whom consist of racial caricature like the excruciatingly bad "slant eye", while others are simply evil because they would not know what else to do or how ...more
Jun 05, 2007 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Fletcher Hanks has a genuinely odd sensibility, and I can see how his work, to the extent that it's known at all, tends to polarize people.

His drawings are crude and stiff at times, his plots are predictable and ludicrous, and his superheroes are...I mean, they have "super superiority rays," shit like that.

But. There's also a stark beauty to the work. I love the way Hanks will fill up a panel of tiny human bodies being flung around by explosions or suspension rays or whatever.

And while his su
Jan 13, 2011 Nicky rated it it was amazing
It seems every goodreads review of this book is based on the Amazon product description. Something about crude art and storylines but interesting and weird blah blah. Come on, really? Crude compared to what? Ever read any pre-war Green Lantern? Same crude art and storylines but those writers and artists are revered in the comics world now. Weird? Well I suppose a super-powered person from another planet that travels to Earth and then apprehends criminals is a little weird yeah, but then that's t ...more
Lars Guthrie
Nov 09, 2008 Lars Guthrie rated it it was amazing
I don't know exactly why I was so fascinated by this collection of previously unnoticed pre-WW II comics. They're crude and raw. And Karasik finds out in his comic book afterword that Hanks was a cruel and abusive alcoholic. Maybe it's the bizarre and convoluted punishments Hanks's superheroes deliver to the bad guys. How about Stardust using a "superiority beam" to enlarge the villain's head to the point where it absorbs his body, then transporting that head to the "space pocket of living death ...more
Apr 22, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
Imagine, if you will, Ogden Whitney not knowing his Herbie Popnecker, aka “Herbie the Fat Fury” had no idea his creation was abstract and absurdist and you know a bit of what you’re in for when you crack the cover of this forgotten gem. A collection of disturbingly, unintentionally deranged comic stories by forgotten forties comic artist Fletcher Hanks. Fletcher’s hero “Stardust” may be the most unintentionally hysterically cruel heroes of the golden age of comics. Stardust’s “I don’t kill, I ju ...more
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Fletcher Hanks, Sr. was a cartoonist from the Golden Age of Comic Books, who wrote and drew stories detailing the adventures of all-powerful, supernatural heroes and their elaborate punishments of transgressors. In addition to his birth name, Hanks worked under a number of pen names, including "Hank Christy," "Charles Netcher," "Chris Fletcher", "C. C. Starr," and "Barclay Flagg." Hanks was active ...more
More about Fletcher Hanks...

Other Books in the Series

The Complete Works of Fletcher Hanks (2 books)
  • You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation!  (The Complete Works of Fletcher Hanks, #2)

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