2-BIT COMICS: Harlan Ellison’s “Phoenix Without Ashes” at 13th DIMENSION

In this new segment — 2-Bit Comics — Clay N. Ferno digs deep into back-issue bins and discount trade shelves, refusing to pay more for great comic stories found on discount! First up, Harlan Ellison’s IDW hardcover for “Phoenix Without Ashes.”Sharing his love for great stories found in the quarter bin may prompt you to revisit these books wherever you can find them, in a yellowed longbox or on your tablet!



The Seventies were a great time for science fiction, though the genius of Harlan Ellison’s stories were often mucked with enough to make him take his name off plenty of projects. A TV version of this graphic novel appeared on Canadian and American stations in 1973 under the new name, “The Starlost.” Audiences were told Ellison’s alter-ego Cordwainer Bird created and wrote the show.


As a concept for sci-fi and comics, this merges the best of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Lost,” “Doctor Who” and of course a bit of “Star Trek.” All the action starts out in an Amish town, where our main man Devon is accused of being a heretic, speaking out against the Elders, who have lied to the villagers about the will of the Creator.

Devon is driven to the edge of the mountains by an angry mob after revealing the hoax to his beloved Rachel, to whom his love is forbidden as she has been promised to a man named Garth since birth.


The naturally curious Devon has had questions all his life about where the sky starts and ends, and why the Creator has only given his people 50 square miles of land on which to live.

Devon discovers, by his exile, an escape, in the quite literal form of a hatch that drops him into a most unusual place — the life support system of a very large space ship en route to certain doom into the heart of a nova!




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