Frame One  Title: Fantastic Voyage  Year Caption: 1966 Frame Two &Three Caption: The Proteus with a crew of five will be shrunk to a micrometer. Scene: Proteus side view. Sign: Big fish fins Sign: Glass domes are cool Sign: See everywhere Sign: Grill Sign: Jets Sign: Nautilus and Aleutian love child Frame Four  Caption: To remove a blood clot… Scene: A body with bald head lays facing up on table with a surgical drape over it. This is a close-up of the head cover with a grid map for surgery. Frame Five  Caption: with lasers,  Scene: Scientist holding laser Scientist: Pew! Pew! Frame Six  Caption: and wetsuits,  Scene: A bodacious Rachel Welch wearing wetsuit. Sign: Rachael Welch Frame Seven  Caption: A journey in a human body. Scene: Little sub moving around in an artery. Sub: Fantastic! Frame Eight.  Caption: The special effects… Scene: Overhead projector. Sign: High tech gadgets. Frame Nine  Caption: Won an Oscar. Scene: A giant amoeba is holding an Oscar in front of a microphone  Ameba: You like me! You really like me! Rating Caption: I give it eight laser blasts.

The Cold War inspired a genre of technology-race movies. Fantastic Voyage was novel in that it was about reduction technology. Then add to that the concept of seeing the human body from the inside on a cellular level—fantastic is the word. Audiences came to see how ingenious Hollywood could be in depicting the human anatomy with all its functions. This movie often played on television when I was growing up. What little kid wouldn’t be excited about seeing a submarine journeying through veins? The Proteus was rather cool-looking for the day. I loved the cool glass dome on the roof and the big fins. I wasn’t concerned about the Cold War aspects of the film. For me it was all about the cool-looking stuff, the giant cells, what they did, and the lasers. There have been a lot of other reduction sci-fi films over the years—some of them pretty good, like Inner Space. But nothing beats Fantastic Voyage as a classic that influenced pop culture. I wanted this strip to reflect my childlike excitement for Fantastic Voyage.

Winner of two Academy Awards.

The last review: The Great Escape • The one before that: : The Quiet Man • The one before that: Murder by Death
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© 2016 Mark Monlux

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