I have a dorky hobby. Actually, I have several, but the one relevant to today is my hobby involving anthropology. You see, for the last few years I’ve been compiling a list of all works of fiction where anthropologists appear as characters. I’ve got almost three hundred books, movies, and tv shows, as well as a handful of comic books and video games and one play. I plan on eventually putting them all on a wiki so that anyone can contribute, but for now, I want to highlight a forty year old comic book from this list: The Eternals, volume 1, issue 6, from sometime in the sixties. I tried not to make fun of the campiness of the comic since it’s pretty much shooting fish in a barrell, but I couldn’t contain myself in a few places.
Anyway, there are apparently three different species of humans — regular Homo sapiens sapiens, plus the Eternals and the Deviants, antediluvian superhuman peoples living in hiding for millenia. Which is nice and all, but apparently the space gods are coming, and, well . . .
“I-I’ve seen the space-gods! I-I was among the Inca ruins when I saw their space ship land! War with such powerful beings could be catastrophic for humanity!”
Why would humanity (i.e., the United States) fight the space gods? I recommend only reading this answer if you absolutely must know, since it’s all crap, but anyway, there’s some kind of backstory about the Deviants attacking what’s probably New York City to foment chaos and fear. Then the humans will attack when the space gods arrive, humanity will be scoured from the earth, and the Deviants will have the world to themselves. But the Eternals wish to save humanity, and the Deviant general, Kro, believing humanity will bollocks it all up anyway, agrees to a truce with their Eternal rivals.
So . . .
Boo-yah!! You see that? You see that? “He teaches anthropology“! That’s why he’s perfect for the job! Respect this!
He doesn’t look like an anthropologist, does he? Especially not an American anthropologist from the 1960s, when the whole fieldwork in exotic places thing was still at its height. I think the artist’s thoughts went like this: anthropologist = academic = poindexter = Dr. Samuel Holden, professor of anthropology at City College. Which anthropologists were famous in the sixties, anyway? Margaret Mead? Carlos Castañeda? Ashley Montagu? Nope, the guy looks nothing like any of them (and hold your criticisms about Castañeda, I know already).
Anyway, the Eternals and Deviants introduce themselves to the professor, who then presents them to the scientific community.
Evidently, the scientific community consists of a classroom full of undergrads. However, at least one student wasn’t high during the lecture:
Then the Eternals and the Deviants demonstrate their superpowers to the astonished crowd. But what’s this?
“This is Stevenson! The group has reached Point One, and can see the dome clearly. But the interior’s a mystery! We intend to move in closer . . .”
“LOOK! Up there!”
“I-it’s one of the space giants!”
“H-he’s going for us!! I-I’ve got to shoot!”
“Group to base! We’ve made contact! The alien — he’s big! BIG!!”
And there you have it, the foundation of every prevailing myth finally explained.