arrive on a barren chunk of rock, in the aftermath of a terrible explosion.
Searching through the rubble, the reptilian creatures (with glass globes over their heads) find the last remnants of a civilization: several colorful pages bound together.
An alien cries out "Spa fon!" in surprise.
In these pages, we see a civilization founded through war, escalating a conflict through first sticks and stones
, then arrows
, then guns
Finally, they use the ultimate weapon: a nuclear missile so powerful that it destroys their world
But the comic book continues, and the aliens see themselves landing on the asteroid. One of them cries out "Spa fon!"
The book ends on the last page, with the aliens looking at themselves in infinite variation all reading the same book!
"The Aliens," a story in Weird Fantasy
#17 (Jan-Feb 1952, drawn by Al Williamson
), was, if not the first, one of the first instances of Educational Comics
) using the catch phrase
"Spa fon!" In later years, it would become a line that nearly every technologically advanced alien would utter in surprise, usually while viewing the wreckage of Earth, post-nuclear disaster.
In the '70s, when EC comics were being reinvestigated by collectors and underground comix artists, Spa Fon (along with Squa Tront!
) became the name of a fanzine newsletter dedicated to unearthing the (by then obscure) runs of comics.
Often, the phrase will still get a chuckle out of sci-fi geeks of all ages.
and Spa Fon
are used as the names of alien cockroaches from the future in the Chrononauts
games. The game's author has acknowledged the source.
— In Mad
," Captain Marbles
' alter-ego is "Billy Spafon