Blast-Off, published in 1965. But the story itself was actually drawn in 1959, for the same title (Race to the Moon) that Kirby wrote his prophetic Face On Mars story. Upon further research, the question was raised: Was Jack Kirby an uncredited contributor to the greatest Astronaut Theology epic of all time? Or was he- again- tapped into a vision of the future that he projected onto the page?
Remember there was no Stargate sequence of this type in the original story, The Sentinel. Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick were still struggling over the 2001 script at the time this comic hit the stands- did they happen upon this story while working on the Stargate sequence, or is this an amazing Synchronicity?
The story "The Great Moon Mystery" has a TV production crew stumble on an alien artifact (an obelisk, in this case) on the moon, which immediately captures them in a force field. A team of astronauts try to rescue them and shoot at the obelisk, but are transformed into beings of light and send on a journey across the vast reaches of the Universe (see page at top). The journey ends in Wizard of Oz-like fashion when the astronauts visualize themselves back on the Moon.
Read this remarkable story in its entirety here.
Later Kirby would do his own version of 2001 for Marvel, but probably had no memory of "The Great Moon Mystery" and its own "Stargate sequence" while watching Kubrick's film. But damn, that man was tuned in, like few before or after....
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