Sunday, 3 May 2009
Arena is one of my all-time favourite one-off comic stories, from Roy Thomas' short-lived Worlds Unknown. Rascally Roy obviously liked it as much as me, as he reprinted it in the last issue of his b/w follow up Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction. What I like about it is that it's storytelling pared right down to the bone: One man. One monster. Winner takes all. It's that simple, and that elegant. The set up is so primal that you're practically dealing in archetypes. Plus you get the amazing pairing of John Buscema & Dick Giordano on art. It was adapted from a story by Frederic Brown, a great old school sci-fi writer. I used to have a collection of his called Nightmares & Geezenstacks, full of the most brilliant O.Henry style shock ending stories that clearly inspired the EC boys. I don't think you could stretch Arena out to movie length, but it'd certainly make a great episode of Masters Of Science Fiction or something like that. Here it is.