Sserpo

The cover of Amazing Adventures # 6 (Nov 1961) which would be the last issue of that title until it was brought back in 1970. Art by Kirby and Chris Rule.

Two awesome chapter splash pages for the story. Art by Kirby and George Klein.

Hilarious panel of Sserpo eating a chunk of the earth in one mouthful (page 16). Typical self-explanatory Stan Lee dialogue: “He was hungry!!”

I think Klein does a solid job on the inks for this tale — the main character is delineated nicely with thick brushstrokes, and the background details are rendered with  pen. Klein gives the scales of the orange serpent creature a solid three-dimensional quality reminiscent of the famous Kirby/Sinnott shading of the orange rocks on the body of Kirby’s Thing character from the Fantastic Four.

The Sserpo character looks a little more like a lizard to me than a snake — an orange Godzilla. I’ve been living on-and-off in Florida for the last twenty years and although I’ve seen thousands of lizards running around, I don’t ever recall seeing an orange one.

I suppose maybe there are some orange lizards in some exotic place on planet earth, but I bet this is probably an example where Kirby probably assumed the serpent character would be colored green (or maybe he didn’t even think about it) and the colorist might not have read the story and simply chose the orange color because it looked visually interesting.

Thanks to Kenn Thomas for this info: “SERPO (it’s spelled SSERPO in the Kirby story) is a thing of some currency in UFO circles there days. It’s supposedly a top secret exchange program of twelve US military personnel to a planet in Zeta reticuli called SERPO between 1965 and 1978. Kirby’s story is from 1961. Haha! Kirby does it again. First, the Face on Mars… More on SERPO at serpo.org.”